Randy Pobst race report
Battle of St Pete
St Petersburg, FL (March 28, 2011) - Randy returned to World Challenge GT Sports Car Wars to defend his title at this weekend's doubleheader at the temporary street circuit in St. Petersburg. With a 49-car field, with three different classes running on Pirelli slick tires for the first time, he knew this season would be challenging. Randy and his #6 K-Pax Racing Volvo S60 started out well, winning the second practice and qualifying fourth. Randy got a great launch off the standing start and soared into the lead. He eventually lost the lead while working his way through lapped cars from the other two classes. He battled back and forth with several cars, finishing fifth in Saturday’s Acura Sports Car Challenge Presented by Pirelli.
"I came off the launch beautifully and went into the lead. A few laps in, the Porsches got by me in traffic which, of course, is one of the challenges in World Challenge. After that long yellow, I had a bad restart and fell way back but was able to work back into fifth with the car in good shape. This was a good run here and a nice start to the season."
Randy was on the pole for Sunday's race as the grid for the second race of a doubleheader weekend will now be set by fastest lap times during Saturday’s race. The Volvo got of to a nice lead but, just like Saturday, was overtaken by the two Porsches in traffic. With two laps to go, and racing in the top five, Randy's Volvo broke a suspension part and crashed in turn three. Randy was okay but the car had significant damage and was not able to continue, finishing in 25th place.
"I was very happy with the way the car performed this weekend. The Volvo starts better than ever and we were able to jump out to a nice lead. Not only did we fix our issues of the past but we improved from last year. The car handled very well and even better than yesterday. It was very tricky and difficult to work through traffic and the Porsches caught us again. After the yellow, I was in a good battle with the Corvette and Viper. I felt something break in the suspension and hit the wall hard. Serious damage. I was looking really good before that. So disappointing."
"I was very happy to have my family here to cheer me on and I want to thank them for coming out. They got to see me lead if not win. I also want to thank my personal sponsors, WeatherTech, ChaseCam and saferacer.com, who will be supporting me again this season. I have been coaching Cooper MacNeil, of the WeatherTech family, who is competing in the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge (all Porsches) this season. Cooper did a great job at Sebring recently with two second-place finishes. He will also be racing in the Ferrari Challenge Series. On to Long Beach..."
Despite Sunday's late race incident, Randy comes out of the weekend in fifth place in points with lots of racing to go. The St Pete Grand Prix will air on Versus, April 9, at 4:30 PM EST. Randy's next race will be at Long Beach, CA, April 15-17, with the World Challenge GT series. Races can now be viewed live at www.world-challengetv.com! Later in the season, Randy will have a new co-driver, Alex Figge, who is taking over for Andy Pilgrim who has returned to Cadillac. Randy also now has two other new teammates, Aaron Povoledo and Robb Holland, as K-PAX is now fielding two Volvo C30s in the Touring Car class.
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- source: randypobst.com