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Washington DC: GT race report

Pobst gives Porsche SPEED GT manufacturers' lead with flag-to-flag Washington run. WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 20, 2002) -- Randy Pobst, of Gainesville, Ga., led flag-to-flag in Saturday's SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championship race at...

Pobst gives Porsche SPEED GT manufacturers' lead with flag-to-flag Washington run.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 20, 2002) -- Randy Pobst, of Gainesville, Ga., led flag-to-flag in Saturday's SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championship race at the Cadillac Grand Prix of Washington, D.C., vaulting Porsche back into the Manufacturers' Championship lead. Johannes van Overbeek, of Danville, Calif., finished second for the fourth-straight race, followed by Jeff McMillin, of Erie, Pa.

Driving his No. 22 1st Interstate Inn/3R Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, Pobst jumped to the lead at the standing start and never looked back, holding van Overbeek off for a 0.761-second win, averaging 74.136 mph in the 30-lap, 49.83-mile contest.

"The key to today was my car's handling," said Pobst, who also won at Lime Rock Park this season. "There are a number of super-tight hairpins and one high-speed sweeping corner, so it's tough to get the balance right in both. Everything was getting hot--the brakes, the tires and the driver, but the car held up."

While Pobst could stretch out to nearly a four-second lead at times, traffic played a major role, including the last several laps, which allowed both van Overbeek and McMillin to close.

"I really had to push at the end," Pobst added. "Johannes [van Overbeek] and Jeff [McMillin] were right there. This is just a team victory. Sometimes the driver gets all the credit whether you win or lose, but this weekend was a team win."

In his similar No. 81 Flextronics/Brocade/Shoreline Porsche, van Overbeek was able to keep Pobst in sight for most of the race, including his run at the end of the contest, with McMillin hot on his tail.

"I'd used up all my brakes by the end of the race and was just hanging on," said van Overbeek. "When you're second, you just hope something happens-traffic, a caution, anything.

"This was a really well thought out event. It's clear that a lot of preparations were made and money was put into the right places to make a great first-year event here in Washington, D.C."

McMillin was able to move his No. 25 JJ's Snacks/McMillin Motorsports BMW M3 past van Overbeek at the start, actually bumping Pobst as the field went into turn one. However, van Overbeek was past three corners later, and McMillin dropped off the fight until the last 10 laps.

"They caught some traffic near the end, and I had just been hanging on," said McMillin, who earned his third podium finish of the season. "We just didn't have the braking capability that the Porsche has. Johannes [van Overbeek] can stop a car like nobody else."

Peter Cunningham, of W. Bend, Wis., moved from his seventh starting spot to finish fourth in his record 100th SPEED World Challenge start driving a supercharged Acura NSX. John Young, of Woodside, Calif., equaled a career best, finishing fifth in his Saleen SR.

Bob Miller, of Ellicott City, Md., was awarded the Rogaine "Hair Raising Pass of the Day" for his move on Gennady Soykher, of Abingdon, Md.

Point leader Michael Galati had a difficult day, finishing sixth after spinning back to ninth from fourth. His fight back to sixth maintained his point lead over Cunningham, but it shrunk to 17 (168-151). McMillin closed to within two of Cunningham, with 149. Van Overbeek is fourth, with 146. The win by Porsche vaulted it to the top of the Manufacturers' Championship, with 38 to Audi's 31. Acura is third, with 25.

-scca pro racing-

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Series PWC
Drivers Randy Pobst , John Young , Michael Galati , Bob Miller , Peter Cunningham , Jeff McMillin , Gennady Soykher