LAKEVILLE, Conn. (May 31, 2004) – Randy Pobst, of Gainesville, Ga., made up for a poor finish in Round One of the 2004 SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championship by dominating Round Two, the Mohegan Sun Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park on Monday. Teammate Michael Galati, of North Olmsted, Ohio, was second, followed by fellow Italian Max Angelelli.
Pobst started from the pole position in his No. 1 Audi Certified Pre-Owned Audi RS 6, but it was teammate Galati in the No. 2 entry that took the advantage on the standing start to take the lead. When Galati went wide on the second lap exiting the final corner, Pobst got a run and took the lead in turn one. From there, Pobst steadily pulled out an advantage and, when the caution flags waived late to move a car stranded on course, had his first win of 2004.
Pobst officially won by 0.144-second under caution, averaging 82.498 mph for the 46-lap, 70.38-mile event.
“I was giving it all I had,” Defending series Champion Pobst said of his win. “There has been a lot of good work done on our Audi Certified Pre-Owned Audi RS 6s. We were allowed to run bigger Toyo Tires this year. But, in order to do that we had to reduce our boost. We lost about 50 horsepower. We used to be one of the quickest cars on the straight and now we’re one of the slowest. What that means is our car handle really well and Lime Rock is a handling track. I am very please with the handling of the car.
“Michael [Galati] made a mistake coming down the hill,” Pobst added. “I watched him going into that corner and I said, ‘Wow, he’s fast. Oh, he’s not going to make it.’ He got out in the dirt and I had to be real careful. But, I got by him. I just put my head down and ran as hard as I could. Audi needed a real come back and so did I. I love winning.”
Galati, who finished third in the opening round, held on to his second-consecutive podium finish with Angelelli charging hard prior to the final caution.
“On the second lap, I came down the hill a little too fast got completely sideways and slid off the track,” Five-time series Champion Galati said. “And, Randy [Pobst] went by me in turn one. After that, I was trying to stay with him. It seemed like his car was working good.”
Angelelli started fifth but fell back to ninth before mounting a charge late in his No. 16 Cadillac/Mobil 1/Motorola/Bose Cadillac CTS-V. The driver from Monaco ran out of green flag laps to mount a charge at the Audis, but maintained the point lead.
“It was very difficult in the beginning,” Angelelli said of his start. “I lost a lot of positions. But, my car was very good the second half [of the race]. I gave it everything I had.”
Tommy Archer, of Duluth, Minn., finished fourth in his No. 22 3R-Racing/c3controls Dodge Viper Competition Coupe after starting 12th, earning the Sunoco Hard Charger of the Race Award. Andy Pilgrim, of Delray Beach, Fla., finished fifth in his Cadillac.
Leighton Reese, of Minnetonka, Minn., was awarded the Remus Power Move of the Race for his pass on Pilgrim and then Phil McClure on laps 15 and 16. Reese later retired his Corvette with driveline problems.
Angelelli now leads the SPEED GT Championship points with 60, followed by Galati (54), Pilgrim (48), Archer (47) and McClure (42). Audi and Cadillac are now deadlocked atop the SPEED GT Manufacturers’ Championship Presented by Racer Magazine, with 14, followed by Dodge (6) and Chevrolet (3).
Today’s race will be broadcast on June 6 at 1:00 p.m. (EDT) on SPEED Channel. Round Three of the 2004 season will be June 25-27 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
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