WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (June 8, 2008) – After a historic weekend in 2007 saw him win all three SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge races, Randy Pobst’s 2008 trip to Watkins Glen International may not have been as busy, competing in just one event, but was successful nonetheless, winning the SCCA SPEED GT Round Four race from the pole. Andy Pilgrim, of Boca Raton, Fla., and Michael Galati, of Olmsted, Ohio, completed the top three.
Pobst, of Gainesville, Ga., started from the pole in his No. 1 K-PAX Racing Porsche 911 GT3 and got the jump on the field at the standing start. After pulling out a two-second gap, Tommy Archer’s No. 13 Foametix/Woodhouse Performance Dodge Viper, Archer began to whittle away at the gap. By lap 10 of the 22-lap, 74.8-mile event, Archer was on the bumper of Pobst’s Porsche. The two ran nose to tail for the next eight laps, before Archer headed for pit lane with an engine problem.
From there, Pobst cruised the final five laps to take the win, his second of the year, by 5.584 seconds, averaging a series course record 103.866 mph.
“Tommy caught me and I tried really hard not to make a mistake. He was actually faster than me, but he broke,” Pobst said. “Today, K-PAX Racing and my crew chief Will Moody really nailed the setup. One of the advantages of the Porsche at Watkins Glen is that we can run flat through the Esses. We can just keep it down the whole way through there. Cars like the Cadillac and the Mustang have much larger engines and they have an advantage on us on the straights, but I think the Esses were the key to the victory today.”
Pobst won the SPEED Touring Car doubleheader as well as the SPEED GT race in June 2007, becoming the first driver to win three professional races on the same weekend in track history. No longer running in SPEED Touring Car, the GT race was his only opportunity for a victory on Sunday, and he made the best of it to take his 11th professional race win at The Glen, his 20th-career World Challenge win.
“Watkins Glen has a lot of corners that have long entries,” Pobst said when asked about why he tends to perform well at Watkins Glen. “I have a technique of going in with a lot of entry speed and real slow hands with a long trail brake and that seems to be working.”
Pilgrim was pleased to bring the No. 8 Remington Shaving Cadillac CTS-V home second, when he felt he had a fourth-place car. After starting second, he fell behind Archer and point leader Brandon Davis (No. 10 ACS/Sun Microsystems Ford Mustang Cobra) to fourth before inheriting both positions back when the two retired.
“Realistically, we were lucky to be on the podium today,” Pilgrim said. “Randy [Pobst] and Tommy [Archer] were certainly the talent of the field today. I couldn’t keep up with them. I kind of held Brandon [Davis] up a little bit for four or five laps, because it takes my tires a little bit to come up to pressure. Even when they were up to temp, he was on me so I let him go and he pulled away. I think I had a fourth place car, but unfortunately, [Davis] had a timing chain problem and then later in the race Tommy had an issue so we’re very lucky to be here. I’m very happy to be second today.”
Galati, who won the SCCA SPEED Touring Car race earlier in the day, brought the No. 23 K-PAX Racing Porsche 911 GT3 home third—equaling his best finish of the season in the series.
“We had a good car today,” Galati said. “At the start, I got behind Mike McCann and we had a good fight for a couple of laps. After I went by him, I thought maybe I could run down and catch these guys. But I tell you, they were gone. But it was fun. I had a big vibration in the car and I thought I had a tire coming apart. But the car was good and congratulations to my teammate Randy [Pobst].”
Eric Curran ended a string of terrible luck, which saw him fail to complete more than five laps in any of the first three races, to finish fourth in the No. 30 Whelen Engineering Chevrolet Corvette. McCann finished fifth in the No. 16 Remington Shaving Cadillac CTS-V.
James Sofronas (Porsche 911 GT3), Joey Scarallo (Pontiac GTO), Ritch Marziale (Dodge Viper), Mike Davis (Ford Mustang Cobra) and Stu Frederick (Dodge Viper) completed the top 10.
Mike Davis earned the Sunoco Hard Charger award for advancing six positions in the No. 11 ACS/Sun Microsystems Ford Mustang Cobra.
Archer was presented the Racing Electronics Holeshot Award for moving from third to second on the opening lap.
Pobst regained the SCCA SPEED GT Drivers’ Championship point lead with the win and Davis’ mechanical woes. He now leads Pilgrim 427 to 398, followed by Davis (347), Galati (324) and Sofronas (284).
Porsche also took the lead in the SCCA SPEED GT Manufacturers’ Championship Presented by RACER, 29 to Cadillac’s 24. Ford dropped to third, with 21 points, followed by Dodge, with 13 and Chevrolet, with 4.
Today’s race will be broadcast Wednesday, June 18 at 1 p.m. (EDT) on SPEED. The series next travels to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course July 18-20.
WATKINS GLEN, New York - Results from Sunday’s 22-lap 74.8-mile SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championship Round Four race, part of the Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen at Watkins Glen International with finishing position, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, car, laps, distance behind winner and reason out (if any).
1. (1), Randy Pobst, Gainesville, Ga., Porsche 911 GT3, 22.
2. (2), Andy Pilgrim, Boca Raton, Fla., Cadillac CTS-V, 22, -5.584.
3. (5), Michael Galati, Olmsted, Ohio, Porsche 911 GT3, 22, -11.250.
4. (8), Eric Curran, East Hampton, Mass., Chevrolet Corvette, 22, -15.325.
5. (6), Michael McCann, Canton, Ohio, Cadillac CTS-V, 22, -21.586.
6. (7), James Sofronas, Newport Beach, Calif., Porsche 911 GT3, 22, -25.800.
7. (10), Joey Scarallo, Smithtown, N.Y., Pontiac GTO, 22, -45.461.
8. (21), Ritch Marziale, Tempe, Ariz., Dodge Viper, 22, -51.374.
9. (15), Mike Davis, Huntington Beach, Calif., Ford Mustang Cobra, 22, -51.982.
10. (14), Stu Frederick, Del Mar, Calif., Dodge Viper, 22, -55.418.
11. (13), Tony Gaples, Libertyville, Ill., Chevrolet Corvette, 22, -58.006.
12. (22), Jason Daskalos, Albuquerque, N.M., Dodge Viper, 22, -58.242.
13. (12), Jeff Courtney, Slinger, Wis., Dodge Viper, 22, -1:01.324.
14. (11), Tim McKenzie, Madison, Wis., Porsche 911 GT3, 22, -1:01.934.
15. (19), Sonny Whelen, Old Saybrook, Conn., Chevrolet Corvette, 22, -1:10.611.
16. (18), Phillip Martien(R), Finksburg, Md., Porsche 911 GT3, 21, -1 lap.
17. (20), Eric Olberz, La Canada, Calif., Porsche 911 GT3, 21, -1 lap.
18. (17), John Bourassa, Jupiter Island, Fla., Porsche 911 Turbo, 21, -1 lap.
19. (3), Tommy Archer, Duluth, Minn., Dodge Viper, 18, Engine.
20. (9), Dino Crescentini, Manhattan Beach, Calif., Porsche 911 GT3, 11, Mech.
21. (4), Brandon Davis, Huntington Beach, Calif., Ford Mustang Cobra, 6, Mech.
22. (16), Gunter Schaldach(R), Aspen, Colo., Dodge Viper, 0, Mech.
23. (23), Vesko Kozarov(R), Sighisoara, Utah, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX, 0, DNS.
Time of race: 43 minutes, 12.554 seconds.
Average speed: 103.866 mph, Record
Margin of victory: 5.584 Seconds
Lap leaders: Laps 1-22, #1 Randy Pobst
Fastest race lap: #13 Tommy Archer, 1:56.903 (104.702 mph)
Fastest qualifier: #1 Randy Pobst, 1:55.102 (106.340 mph)
Cautions : None
Racing Electronics Holeshot Award : #13 Archer advanced one position on lap one
Sunoco Hard Charger: #11 Mike Davis advanced six positions in the race
SCCA SPEED GT Drivers’ Championship Standings
After Four of 10 races
Pos., Driver, Car, Points (wins)
1, Randy Pobst, Porsche 911 GT3, 427 (2)
2, Andy Pilgrim, Cadillac CTS-V, 398
3, Brandon Davis, Ford Mustang Cobra, 347 (1)
4, Michael Galati, Porsche 911 GT3, 324
5, James Sofronas, Porsche 911 GT3, 284
6, Jeff Courtney, Dodge Viper, 267
7, Jason Daskalos, Dodge Viper, 267
8, Michael McCann, Cadillac CTS-V, 239
9, Tony Gaples, Chevrolet Corvette, 235
10, Mike Davis, Ford Mustang Cobra, 231
SCCA SPEED GT Manufacturers’ Championship Presented by RACER
After Four of 10 Races
Pos., Manufacturer, Points (wins)
1, Porsche, 29 (2)
2, Cadillac, 24
3, Ford, 21 (1)
4, Dodge, 13 (1)
5, Chevrolet, 4