While the event
was one of celebration for the Champion Audi team, it was bitter
disappointment for pre-event point leader Bill Auberlen and his
BMW Team PTG group, which has been strong all season. Auberlen was
comfortably in the top five, a spot crucial to maintain his point
lead, when the gearbox on his M3 broke one lap shy of half way.
Pobst’s win, and Auberlen’s DNF resulted in a reversal of the
Drivers’ Championship lead going into the last round, next weekend
in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
“Our pleasure is
BMW’s pain, they had a rough day and we had a great day,” Pobst
said after taking his seventh-career win and first since 2002.
“This team has been thrashing all year, really pulling rabbits out
of the hat and putting out fires just to keep the cars on the
track with the busy schedule. But to finally pull down a win is a
wonderful feeling and a tribute to the hard work of the Champion
nabbed the pole in the last minute of qualifying, knew he was in
trouble with the all-wheel-drive Audi next to him on the start,
but a damp line in his lane made matters worse. Galati made a
great jump on the standing start, moving into second, but slid
wide in turn one and allowed Fitzgerald to take over second. The
Porsche reeled in and hounded the Audi for the next 15 laps,
learning where to make his move for the lead.
got alongside Randy [Pobst] once in turn one, but I ran out of
space,” Fitzgerald, who won the Road Atlanta race in June of this
year, said. “There were definitely places I was quicker. I had a
plan, had it gone green all the way, but the caution ended that.
We could have won.”
defending SPEED GT Champion Galati reached the podium for the
second time in three races. He also received the Remus Power Move
of the Race for his move at the start, going from sixth on the
grid into second.
having a difficult season, with little problems with the car here
and there,” Galati said. “I keep telling the guys to never give
up, that the race doesn’t end until the checkered flag, and
they’ve gotten a lot of things straightened out. Now we’re in a
good position to win the [Manufacturers’] Championship, and Randy
has a chance to be the Champion.”
With one race
remaining, Pobst now leads the SCCA SPEED GT Drivers’ Championship
by 12 points (221 to 209) over Auberlen. McClure is third (187
points), followed by Fitzgerald (186) and Hans Stuck (171).
also gained on BMW in the Manufacturers’ Championship Presented by
Racer Magazine. BMW now leads with 50 points, followed by Audi
(49), Porsche (36) and Chevrolet (30).
concludes its 2003 season at San Juan, Puerto Rico Oct. 26.
Today’s race will be broadcast on SPEED Channel Saturday, Nov. 8
at 5:00 p.m. (EST).
1, (2), Randy
Pobst, Gainesville, Ga., Audi RS 6, 27.
2, (1), Mike
Fitzgerald, Phoenix, Ariz., Porsche 911 Cup,
3, (6), Michael
Galati, Olmsted, Ohio, Audi RS 6, 27,
4, (4), Phil
McClure, Floris, Iowa, Corvette Z06, 27,
5, (9), Michael
McCann(R), Canton, Ohio, Dodge Viper, 27,
6, (5), David
Farmer, Albemarle, N.C., Corvette Z06,
Marks, Chico, Calif., BMW M3, 27, -9.736.