March 19, 2004
SEBRING, Fla. (March 19, 2004) – Michael Galati stood proudly on the podium today in the first race of the season of the SPEED World Challenge GT Series as part of the Mobil 1 52nd Annual 12 Hours of Sebring event at Sebring International Raceway. Galati started in 7th position and used the all-wheel-drive system of the Audi Certified Pre-owned Champion RS 6 to catapult himself in to 2nd position right behind teammate Randy Pobst.
It was an awesome display of quattro traction for the Certified RS 6 team as the duo lead one and two into the first corner. Unfortunately for Pobst, his luck ended there as a power steering belt broke and sent Pobst off into the grass exiting turn three. Pobst finished the race in 26th place.
“This is such an unfortunate break for me and the team,” said Pobst from Gainesville, Georgia. “All I can say is my car will go through the Audi Certified pre-owned 300+ point inspection and it will be ready for the next race.”
Five-time series Champion Galati used the power of the 4.2 liter, V8, bi-turbo Cosworth engine to keep himself strong and consistent throughout the 19 lap race around the 3.7 mile track. As a result, Galati won the Remus Power Move of the race.
Galati held the lead position until Max Angelli in a Cadillac CTS passed him on the third lap. Galati drove brilliantly for another 15 laps fending off the competition until the partner to Angelli, Andy Pilgrim, squeezed by Galati on lap 17.
“The Certified Audi RS 6 did a fantastic job today,” said Galati from Olmsted, Ohio. “I gave it all I had but those guys (Cadillac) are just performing in a different league from the rest of us in the field. They have a much different car than the rest of us have.”
Team Leader Louis Milone shared the same feelings. “Galati gave it all he had. He and Randy both had a fantastic start. Pobst had a problem with a power steering belt that we’ll analyze so it won’t happen again. The Cadillac cars obviously showed their cards today and now it’s up to the SCCA to make it fair.”
The SPEED World Challenge GT Championship next visits Lime Rock Park May 29-31, headlining the Mohegan Sun Presents the Lime Rock Grand Prix.
- 1. Max Angelelli, Monte Carlo, Monaco, Cadillac CTS-V
- 2. Andy Pilgrim, Delray Beach, Fla., Cadillac CTS-V, 20
- 3. Michael Galati, N. Olmsted, Ohio, Audi RS 6
- 4. Tommy Archer, Duluth, Minn., Viper CompCoupe
- 5. Phil McClure, Floris, Iowa, Corvette Z06, 20
- 26. Randy Pobst, Gainesville, Ga., Audi RS 6
Time of race: 44 minutes, 26.565 seconds.
Average speed: 99.903 mph
Margin of victory: 0.358-second
- Laps 1-2, #2 Michael Galati;
- laps 3-20, #16 Max Angelelli
- Fastest race lap: #8 Andy Pilgrim, 2:10.249 (102.265 mph)
- Fastest qualifier: #16 Max Angelelli, 2:09.076 (103.195 mph)
- Remus Power Move of the Race: #2 Michael Galati for his start
- Sunoco Hard Charger: #82 Mike McCann(R) for improving 21 positions