Randy Pobst and his K-PAX/3R Porsche win WCGT race at Watkins Glen Michael Galati finishes 3rd in his Porsche GT3 Watkins Glen New York (June 8, 2008): Randy Pobst kept his World Challenge win streak at Watkins Glen alive as he went wire to...
Randy Pobst and his K-PAX/3R Porsche win WCGT race at Watkins
Michael Galati finishes 3rd in his Porsche GT3
Watkins Glen New York (June 8, 2008): Randy Pobst kept his World Challenge win streak at Watkins Glen alive as he went wire to wire in his K-PAC/3R Racing Porsche GT3s winning Round 4 of the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championships. Pobst held the lead from his pole position leading every lap although Tommy Archer and his Dodge Viper made life difficult for much of the race before retiring with an expired engine.
"Today I owe it all to my team, K-PAX/3R Racing and my engineer Will Moody, he really nailed the setup," said Pobst after the win. "One of the advantages of the Porsche here at Watkins Glen as it looked to me was that we can fun flat through the esses. I think today the esses were the key to victory."
"It was a great finish," said K-PAX team owner Jim Haughey. "I am so happy for these guys. Randy and Michael did a great job today and Will and the boys did a heck of a job. It was a great day for Porsche because we pushed them back on top of the standings.
"The Ford and the Dodge had a little trouble and we took advantage this time. You can never relax in the World Challenge GT Championships but this race gave us some unexpected breathing room. But there is a lot of the season left so we aren't going to relax."
"It was definitely a big weekend for us," said Bob Raub of 3R Racing. "You have to be there at the end, and we were. You have to get the cars prepped; the drivers ready and you have to be there at the end and finish. Randy and Archer were really going at it there in the middle of the race.
"Tommy would push Randy and Randy would drive a little harder. They were pretty close there all the time. I think the Bus Stop was the savior for the Porsche. Randy could get through there better and get back what Tommy made picked up the hill. Randy raced pretty hard."
Pobst opened up a modest second to a second and a half gap in the early going but as the race wore on Tommy Archer moved his Viper up on Pobst and when the duo broke hard into turn 1 on lap 12 they were nose to tail.
"Tommy was actually faster and he reeled me in but I focused really hard on not making a mistake," said Pobst. "And K-PAX/3R Racing gave me a car that I could be very consistent with. After qualifying I was concerned about the under steer in my car. But after discussing it with my crew chief Will Moody we decided to leave that in and go for the consistency and while it might have cost us a bit in ultimate speed it was the right answer for the race distance."
But Pobst and his K-PAX/3R Racing Porsche GT3 had an answer for every move Archer made and held off the powerful Viper until the engine expired in the #13 Viper allowing Pobst to cruise to a hard fought win. His second win of the SPEED World Challenge GT season.
"My initial thought process was for no mistakes and if he (Archer) is going to pass me he is going to have to earn it," Randy said of his racing action with Archer. "My team gave me a car that I was able to do that with. He either had a miss or something went wrong coming out of the esses the lap before and I got a little gap and my thought was relief. Then he just disappeared behind me."
Michael Galati got too much wheel spin at the start and got caught up in a big V8 mad dash to the first turn with Galati finishing lap 1 in the 6th position.
For a few laps Galati worked hard to get back past the Cadillac of Michael McCann and Galati finally solved McCann on lap 3 and at that point Galati was in 5th looking to move up.
"I want to thank everyone at K-PAX/3R Racing they did an outstanding job and they gave me a good car today and we had an outstanding finish," said Galati. "I spun the wheels at the start and I think I might have done something to the tires because I had a bad vibration or the entire race. I thought I had tire coming off. It was crazy.
"I had a good race with Mike McCann early on and when I finally got by him I thought 'OK maybe I can catch those guys' but couldn't. I tried but they were gone. I just couldn't catch them. It went green all the way and it was good racing."
Galati ran strong and hoping for a caution that would close up the field but he never got one as the GT race at Watkins Glen went green for the distance. But Galati would move up to third when Davis and then Archer would fail to finish the race.
"This is so good to be back here (on the podium for the GT race after winning the Touring Car race earlier in his Tindol Mazda6) and it hasn't sunk in yet," said Michael with a smile. "This was great for the Tindol boys and for K-PAK too after that disaster at Miller."
The win for Randy Pobst solidified his lead in the Drivers' Championship as Pobst now leads Pilgrim by 29 points (427 to 398. Michael Galati's 3rd place finish solidified his hold on 4th in the championship with 324 as he moved closer to Brandon Davis in 3rd with 347.
Pobst's win and pole moved Porsche back into the lead for the Manufacturers' Championship Presented by Racer Magazine as Porsche now leads Cadillac 29 to 24 with Ford in 3rd with 21.
Round 4 of the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championship at Watkins Glen can be seen on SPEED TV on Wednesday June 18th at 1:00 pm Eastern Time.