|June 29, 2003
Champion Audi in SPEED GT
Pobst/Audi/Champion Racing on podium at Road Atlanta
Local Georgia based driver Randy Pobst extended his SPEED GT World Challenge lead when he swept his Audi RS 6 Competition home to a magnificent third place in the fifth round of the series at Road Atlanta as Pompano (FL) Champion Racing team-mate Michael Galati's bad luck continued.
Pobst and Galati started from second and fourth positions respectively on the 24-car grid, Randy making it a fifth straight front row start in his Audi RS 6 Competition with defending GT champion Galati switching to last year's S4 after a testing accident in his RS 6.
Pobst blasted away at the green light to snatch an important early lead although Galati completed the opening lap in 18th place, his S4's rear axle shaft breaking shortly after the start.
Randy led until the 15th lap when ultimate race winner Mike Fitzgerald (Porsche) eased ahead with Pobst surrendering second place to Bill Auberlen (BMW) and then third to Hans Stuck (BMW) three laps later after a tremendous dice.
But Pobst regained third position four laps from the checker - when Auberlen pitted with a puncture - and duly brought his Audi Sport North America RS 6 home to his fifth consecutive podium this season - and Randy's 15th straight top-three in the series.
Michael Galati (43). Born: Alcaralifusi, Messina, Sicily. Lives: N. Olmsted, Ohio:
"I had a good launch at the start but then almost immediately a rear axle shaft broke - it's the first time an S4 has done a standing start using this year's bigger tires. I just tried to nurse the car home and score some points and was made to work real hard for 13th."
Randy Pobst (46). Born: Dayton, Ohio. Lives: Gainesville, Georgia:
"I used its all-wheel-drive traction at the start to the full and then just hung on the best I could at the front. The Champion team is doing a terrific job and continually improving the RS 6 and I'm sure happy to have extended my series lead."
2003 SPEED GT World Challenge point standings after Road Atlanta