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Virginia: GT qualifying report

Pobst grabs SPEED GT pole position at Virginia International. ALTON, VA. (October 26, 2002) -- Randy Pobst, of Gainesville, Ga., captured his sixth-career SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Woody's Ice Pole Position today at VIRginia ...

Pobst grabs SPEED GT pole position at Virginia International.

ALTON, VA. (October 26, 2002) -- Randy Pobst, of Gainesville, Ga., captured his sixth-career SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Woody's Ice Pole Position today at VIRginia International Raceway, in Alton, Va. John Young, of Woodside, Calif., and Marino Franchitti, of Bathgate, Scotland, completed the top three.

            Utilizing a special Top-10 Shootout format to determine the Woody's Ice Pole Position, the fastest ten drivers in the morning qualifying session headed out on to the track in reverse order of their speed, for one flying lap. Pobst, second quick in the earlier session, put together a fast lap of 2:01.295 [97.052 mph] to grab the pole in his No. 22 1st Interstate Inn/3R Racing Porsche 911 Cup.

            "That was the fastest I'd ever gone into The Esses, and the slowest I'd ever exited them," said Pobst. "I got airborne on a curb and it wasn't very pretty heading up the hill. I knew I'd left the door open for everyone else but I was still able to put in a quick lap."

            Young, the newly-crowned Rookie of the Year, was able to put together a fast time of 2:01.320 [97.032 mph] on his flying lap and positioned the No. 44 Contract Metal Products Saleen SR on the front row for Sunday's race.

            "We are just one step closer to getting that first win," said Young, who scored the best starting position of his career. "The lap was pretty good until we got to the Oak Tree Turn. The rear end hopped around in breaking and started to come around, so I had to get out of it. I figured that I'd lost a lot. but I was still fast enough for second."

            Driving the No. 3 Champion Audi S4 Competition, Franchitti was third quick in the morning qualifying session. In the one-lap shootout, he was able to outqualify his teammate, point leader Michael Galati, and starts from the second row in his first SPEED GT start.

            "I had a bit of a fuel pressure problem in the car that cost me on my flying lap," said Franchitti. "But all in all, it was a good run for the Champion Audi. The team has given me a great car and I'm here to make sure that Michael [Galati] claims the championship."

            For second-place in points Peter Cunningham, of W. Bend, Wis., his quest for the season championship took a hit as his RealTime Racing Acura RSX suffered an engine failure during the Top-10 Shootout. Cunningham had run the car out of fuel in the morning qualifying session but did not think that he had damaged the engine. The failure dropped him from the potential pole position to a 10th place starting position in tomorrow's race, and gave him an uphill battle in the championship, with Galati only needing to finish 10th in the race to claim the title.

            The drivers roll off tomorrow at 9:45 a.m. [eastern] for the final event of the SPEED World Challenge GT Championship season.

-scca pro racing-

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Series PWC
Drivers Randy Pobst , John Young , Marino Franchitti , Peter Cunningham