The result moves
Pobst back into second place in the Speed GT World Challenge while
defending GT champion Michael Galati remains ninth after finishing
11th in California.
For the third time
this season, Audi dominated the front row of the 24-car grid, Pobst
earning his second Champion Racing pole-position over team-mate
Galati by 0.481-secs on Saturday.
Pobst and Galati
blasted away at the green light but Michael was forced to surrender
second place on the final turn of the opening lap when Paul Mumford
dived inside and then repeated the maneuver on Pobst two laps later
to take the lead.
With seven laps
run, Pobst shadowed Mumford’s Dodge Viper by less than a second
although Galati by now had been jostled down to eighth place as the
race went full course yellow after 19minutes (11 laps).
As the race
re-started, Pobst pulled alongside Mumford through Turn 1 but slid
straight on and into the gravel/sand trap at Turn 2, Randy resuming
in 11th place, his Audi RS 6 Competition thankfully
undamaged, as Galati worked up to sixth.
recovered three places inside two laps and moved ahead of Galati,
suffering from a badly worn front, right tire, pulled over to allow
his team-mate past. Randy was in a determined mood and started the
last lap fourth after a series of tremendous overtaking maneuvers.
himself ahead of Michael McCann (Dodge Viper) on the uphill section,
a move that put him on to the podium, Pobst taking the checker
15.26secs behind winner Mumford who held a 0.745secs ahead of
Pobst’s main title rival Bill Auberlen (BMW M3).
Galati had looked
set to register a solid top-eight placing but worsening brake and
tire issues combined with a the accelerator sticking open on the
last lap dropped the reigning champion to 11th.
“I took a couple
of hits from a Porsche, one of which damaged the suspension so it
was a handful after that. The brakes had been worked hard after
only three or four laps and then my tires started to go off. Then a
spring on the accelerator broke and I went over the hill at Turn 1
at 140mph with it stuck open but managed to survive a big moment.”
“My Audi RS 6
Competition was the best its been all year - absolutely fantastic.
My only concern during the race were the brakes but the yellow
caution period allowed them to cool off. But I asked too much of the
brakes at the re-start although the all-wheel-drive traction pulled
me through the sand and gravel trap. The final laps were exciting
and its good to reward the team with another rostrum after their
2003 Speed GT
World Challenge – Driver’s Standings (after 8 races)
Auberlen (BMW M3), 208-points
2 Randy Pobst
(Audi RS 6 Competition), 188
3 Phil McClure
(Corvette Z06), 163
4= Hans Stuck
(BMW M3) / Mike Fitzgerald (Porsche 911), 157
6 Boris Said
(BMW M3), 149
9 Michael Galati
(Audi RS 6 Competition), 110
2003 Speed GT
World Challenge – Manufacturers’ Standings (after 8 races)