Road Atlanta: K-PAX/3R Racing race report
Randy Pobst repeats as SPEED GT Drivers' Champ with 5th place finish in Georgia; Michael Galati finishes 14th in Round 10 of SCCA SPEED GT at Road Atlanta Braselton, Georgia (October 3, 2008): Randy Pobst, of Gainesville Georgia, came to Road ...
Randy Pobst repeats as SPEED GT Drivers' Champ with 5th place finish in Georgia; Michael Galati finishes 14th in Round 10 of SCCA SPEED GT at Road Atlanta
Braselton, Georgia (October 3, 2008): Randy Pobst, of Gainesville Georgia, came to Road Atlanta with more than Georgia on his mind as he was looking to repeat as the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Drivers' Champion.
Randy used all of his racing experience to do just that as he brought the #1 K-PAX/3R Racing Team Porsche 911 GT3 home in 5th position in Round 10 of the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championships at Road Atlanta Raceway.
Pobst came into the Road Atlanta SCCCA SPEED GT Finale Presented by Foametix with a generous lead and only a DNF by Pobst and a win by Andy Pilgrim would prevent Pobst from repeating as the GT Drivers' Champion.
Since the standing starts of World Challenge GT races can be, to say the very least, eventful therefore the safe approach would have been to start the #1 Porsche from the pits but that idea just didn't fly with a bunch of hard core racers like the K-PAX/3R Racing Team.
"We are definitely taking the start," said 3R boss Bob Raub emphatically. "We're racers not cowards!"
"We have been strong all year, we have a strong team, a strong driver and a strong car so let's keep doing what we have been doing and go straight into the fight and win it that way," was K-PAX team owner Jim Haughey's take on the start.
"It was a unanimous vote because everyone on the team wanted that, but it was a little nervous until we got a couple of laps into the race," said Pobst. "I was holding my breath because it ain't over till it's over and those of us who have been around awhile know how things can go all wrong in the blink of an eye."
The start was sticky as pole sitter Tommy Milner got far too much wheel spin in his Aston martin but everyone got through turn one without incident.
"Actually we got a good start," said Pobst. "I got a good jump on Andy [Pilgrim] and he went left of Tommy Milner in the Aston Martin who was spinning his tires and not moving very fast. I went to the right but Milner moved me over into the grass.
"Had it been earlier in the season I would have kept going but I wasn't going to risk it and get taken out in the first corner so I backed off and followed him through. They were a little quicker so I probably wouldn't have been able to stay ahead of them anyway."
With the start behind him and limited attrition taking a toll, Pobst and his reliable Porsche drove home to a well earned championship in what would be for Pobst at least a fairly uneventful race as World Challenge GT races go.
"This season my K-PAX/3R Racing Porsche GT3 finished every lap and that was a combination of reliability and preparation from 3R Racing," Randy Pobst said proudly. "My car chief Paul has done a fantastic job and the combination of Paul and Will Moody and the whole team was largely responsible for this championship.
"But personally I am very pleased with this season because I never made a big mistake all year. I made a few little ones but that is almost expected in a full season. The secret to winning is a combination of reliability and speed and I am so very fortunate in being part of the K-PAX/3R Racing Team."
"It is a very big deal winning the championship here at Road Atlanta," said Pobst, who resides in Gainesville Georgia. "My dad, brother and sister-in-law are here and a lot of my neighbors are at this race and of course I just love this track.
"Next season K-PAX and 3R racing will be moving into a whole new adventure and I am really looking forward to that and trying to win three in a row!"
Michael Galati, of Olmstead Ohio, finished a disappointing 14th in the #23 K-PAX/3R Racing Porsche 911 GT3 in the Road Atlanta SCCA SPEED GT Finale Presented by Foametix® as an electrical issue limited the power output of his Porsche engine.
"It was a tough race," said Michael Galati. "My motor didn't make any power during the race. I was a sitting duck out there just watching people drive by me on the straights.
"It was a real shame because we finally got my Porsche handling really well after we struggled earlier in the week. The setup was really good today and I thought that we could move up during the race but that didn't happen so I just had to bring my K-PAX Porsche home in one piece."
Michael got off to a strong start and moved inside of the top ten on the opening lap but soon started to fade back. After a strong restart Galati reclaimed a couple of positions but soon found himself losing ground, eventually fading back to 14th.
"It was a great job by K-PAX racing all year. I finished in the top five in the championship and my team mate won another championship and more importantly we won the Manufacturers' Championship for Porsche.
"Bob Raub and the 3R Racing guys did a great job and deserve to win the team of the year again this year. I know that they have won it a couple of times before but they did a great job this year. And of course thanks to Jim Haughey for the chance to drive for him!"
The race will be shown on SPEED TV on Wednesday October 15th at 1:00 pm Eastern Time.