Galati Out Dueled for Trois-Rivieres Speed GT Win
Randy Pobst, of Gainesville, Ga., out dueled Michael Galati, of N. Olmstead, Ohio, to lead flag-to-flag in Sunday’s SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championship race at Le Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres. Johannes van Overbeek, of Danville, Calif., finished third.
Driving the No. 22 1st Interstate Inn/3R Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, Pobst held the lead from the staggered standing start into turn one. In the opening laps, Pobst established a quick pace, with Galati staying close, but never challenging for position. A full-course caution early in the race bunched the field back together, but on the lap five restart, Pobst got a good jump maintaining the lead. Despite numerous looks by Galati, Pobst held on to win by 1.1596-seconds, averaging 77.158 mph in the 33-lap, 50.193-mile contest.
“The car was great,” said Pobst, who wins for the second consecutive race, leading flag-to-flag. “We only had an advantage in a few places, which makes for an interesting race. The car was fantastic in the hairpin, which helped a lot, as Michael [Galati] was quicker in the fast corners. I always have fun racing with Michael.”
While Pobst led the entire way, Galati, driving the No. 1 Champion Audi Audi S4 Competition, stayed right on Pobst’s bumper. The duo posted similar lap times, building a gap of over three seconds on third place. The second place finish strengthens Galati’s lead in the championship to 27 points, 199-172 over van Overbeek.
“I think the staggered start definitely hurt my chances,” said Galati, who captured his fourth podium finish of 2002. “I got a jump on Randy [Pobst] at the start but couldn’t do anything in turn one. I got a few runs in the race, but was never able to capitalize.”
Starting third, van Overbeek dropped back to fifth at the start of the race. Involved in a three-car battle for position, he moved into fourth when Derek Bell suffered brake problems. Midway through the race, van Overbeek moved into third after John Young went wide exiting turn eight. The podium finish was the six-straight for van Overbeek, in the No. 81 Flextronics/Brocade/Shoreline Porsche, but ended a run of four-straight runner-up finishes.
“The car was really hooked-up,” said van Overbeek. “I made a mistake at the start and fell back, luckily the guys in front either had problems or made a mistake, allowing me to get back to third. I’m thrilled to come here in fourth place in the championship and leave in second, as ultimately the championship is all I care about.”
Fellow Woodside, Calif., residents Young and Justin Marks finished fourth and fifth. The fourth-place finish by Young, in his Saleen SR, sets a new career best, after finishing fifth in Washington, D.C. Marks, in a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, moved up five places in the race, after starting 10th.
Tim Weins, of Westminister, Colo., was awarded the Rogaine “Hair Raising Pass of the Day” for his pass on David Farmer, of Albermale, N.C.
Peter Cunningham, who had mechanical difficulties in the race, falls back to third in the championship with 169 points, followed by Jeff McMillan, with 161, and Young, with 142. The win gives Pobst 128 points, moving up to sixth in the championship, despite missing three races.
1 Randy Pobst (Porsche 911 Cup) 33