Watkins Glen: K-PAX/3R Racing race report

Randy Pobst wins first of 2007 for K-PAX/3R Racing Porsches at Watkins Glen Watkins Glen New York (June 10, 2007): Randy Pobst, of Gainesville Georgia, moved the K-PAX/3R Racing Team to the top step of the podium for the first time of the...

Randy Pobst wins first of 2007 for K-PAX/3R Racing Porsches at Watkins Glen

Watkins Glen New York (June 10, 2007): Randy Pobst, of Gainesville Georgia, moved the K-PAX/3R Racing Team to the top step of the podium for the first time of the 2007 SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championship Series as Randy raced his Porsche GT3 Cup to victory at Watkins Glen.

Michael Galati, of Olmstead Ohio, recovered from a bad start to drive through most of the field to finish his #23 K-PAX/3R Racing Porsche GT3 Cup car in 5th position after stalling his car on the standing start. Robb Holland of Denver Colorado unfortunately didn't finish the race after spinning into a gravel trap on the 8th lap.

"This is the first win with the new team, and it was an important win for this team," said K-PAX owner Jim Haughey. Everyone on the team is getting more in sync. The crew is getting more in sync with the Randy and Michael and the drivers and crew are getting more in sync with the cars.

"We have two drivers who have proven that they can win in World Challenge competition and we need two drivers of that caliber to win or even compete in this series. You saw that today and today it was Randy's turn to win!"

The action started early for Pobst as he put early pressure on the leading Corvette of Eric Curran while getting pressure from Lawson Aschenbach's Cadillac.

After an early caution the subsequent restart proved really exciting for Pobst as he and Aschenbach went side by side through Watkins Glen's dangerous turn 1 with Randy and his K-PAK/3R Racing Porsche on the inside and Aschenbach's Cadillac making a move on the outside.

"This raced was a brawl for the first few laps and on the restart I was on the inside and I knew that the outside was going to have to stare at all of that oil dry from the car that blew up," Pobst said of the pass attempt.

Aschenbach got into the dusty oil dry and bounced up on the rumble strips and into the side of Pobst's Porsche before he had to abandon his pass attempt or crash both cars out of the race.

"I think it damaged my left front because I developed a vibration," Randy said of the contact. "It got worse and worse to the end of the race and it started under-steering badly."

Pobst then started applying pressure to Curran's Corvette which eventually started misfiring due to a burnt spark plug cable turning a lead over to Randy Pobst's K-PAX/3R Racing Porsche would never relinquish.

"K-PAX 3R Racing is a first class operation," Randy Pobst said after his 15th career World Challenge win. "We have been developing this Porsche and they have been working really, really hard, all year. I don't think that the crew has had a day off since before the season started!"

Michael Galati recovers from starting start stall to finish a strong 5th.

Michael Galati stalled his car on the starting grid and was left in last position as the GT field headed down into turn 1 at Watkins Glen but when the race ended 22 laps later Galati was in 5th place and wishing that the race would go another 22.

"I had a little bit of a problem with the clutch and I stalled the car," Michael said of his start. "I need to go to a drag racing school or something. Once I got restarted I was dead last!"

Galati moved through the field of cars using superior braking and handling in his K-PAX/3R Racing Porsche to overcome more powerful cars in the process of setting up one car after another and moving up yet another position.

"I pushed hard all the way through the race," Galati said of his race. "It was tough passing people because we don't have the straight away speed. Our cars handle good and brake really good so we have do pass them under braking.

"I had a pretty good battle with Tommy Archer and the Viper and he gave me fits trying to pass him. I had to pass cars the whole race trying to catch up."

All in all while Galati was left wondering how things might have been he was very happy with his race today.

"It was a nice drive back to finish 5th," Michael said with his usual smile. "I'm happy for the K-PAX and 3R guys and of course I'm happy for Randy. These guys have been working so hard they deserve this win."

Robb Holland of Denver Colorado started well back in 23rd position and was moving up through the back of the field but ended his race prematurely on the 9th lap when he spun into a gravel trap ending his race after only 8 and a half laps of racing.

"I was getting held up by a Viper and I finally got by him going into turn 1 and I forgot that those Vipers have a ton of power," Robb said after the race. "I thought I was free and clear but I looked in my mirrors going into the bus stop and he is right behind me so I moved a little to the inside to block him but I used my same braking point and I was carrying a little too much speed and just parked it in the beach!"

Robb reported that he is finally starting to come to grips with the handling of his rear wheel drive rear engine Porsche as opposed to the front drive Dodge SRT-4 he used to drive in Touring Car.

"We really had to adjust the car because I am used to the SRT-4 and we adjusted some of the natural Porsche tendencies out of the car and now we have the car a lot more balanced and it feels a lot more comfortable to me. I think as the season goes along we should do a lot better."

Round 5 of SCCA Pro Racing's SPEED World Challenge GT Championship Series will be broadcast on SPEED TV on Saturday June 30th at 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

-credit: k-pax/3r

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Series PWC
Drivers Tommy Archer , Randy Pobst , Michael Galati , Eric Curran , Robb Holland