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  Archive of Audi S4 Race Reports/News/Photos 2002  
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Audi S4  2001  -  2002 



  2002 Speed GT World Challenge GT Series  

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (July 6, 2002) -Michael Galati, of N. Olmstead, Ohio, led every lap today to dominate Round Five of the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT at Road America, part of the Road America 500 Weekend, Presented by the Chicago Tribune. Johannes van Overbeek, of Danville, Calif., and Peter Cunningham, of W. Bend, Wis., completed the top three.

Starting from the Woody's Ice Pole, Galati was able to get away clean from the start in his No. 1 Champion Audi S4 Competition. Next to him, second-starting van Overbeek was a little slower on the standing start, allowing Cunningham and Jeff McMillin, of Erie, Pa., to get by him going into turn one.

Galati pulled away as drivers battled behind him, and captured his second-straight SPEED GT win by 3.971 seconds, averaging 99.504 mph.

"The Champion Audi was fantastic at the start," said Galati. "When I got to turn one, I saw them running in a pack for second so I put my head down and tried to open up a gap."

Driving the No. 81 Flextronics/Shoreline/Brocade Porsche 911 Cup, van Overbeek was able to make up the ground on McMillin's No. 25 McMillin Motorsprts/JJ's Snacks BMW M3 going into turn five, but wasn't able to make the pass stick. One lap later, he would move past McMillin heading into Canada Corner to take third position. Using the same move on the very next lap, van Overbeek moved past Cunningham for second place and set his sights on Galati, who, by this time, was four seconds up on the field.

"I gifted the start to Michael [Galati], much to my dismay," said van Overbeek, who recorded his fourth straight podium finish. "Struggling with Jeff [McMillin] and PD [Cunningham] allowed Michael to open up a gap that I couldn't make up."

Van Overbeek would spend the rest of the 17-lap, 68.815-mile event trying to run down the lead, which had stretched to over seven seconds before finally being whittled down to three seconds, at the finish. Cunningham and McMillin would run together once van Overbeek moved past them, but McMillin was not able to make a serious move on Cunningham. Phil McClure, of Floris, Iowa, completed the top five.

"It's great being on the podium with the RealTime Racing Acura NSX SC," said Cunningham, a Wisconsin native. "It's been fun for the team to race at our home track, a place we haven't been at since 1998."

Farther back in the field, Derek Bell, of Pagham, England, made a daring move, going through the Kink, to pass Bob Miller, of Ellicott City, Md. The move would be named the Rogaine "Hair Raising Pass of the Race" by the Speed Channel television crew.

Galati's victory allowed him to open up a 19 point gap on second place Cunningham. The win also pushed Audi ahead of Porsche by one point in the Manufacturer's Championship, 30 to 29.

The series now takes a week off and will race next in Washington, D.C., July 19-21. Today's race will air on SPEED Channel, July 27 at 9:00 p.m. (EDT).


1. (1), Michael Galati, N. Olmstead, Ohio, Audi S4 Comp., 17laps.

2. (2), Johannes van Overbeek, Danville, Calif., Porsche 911 Cup, 17, -3.971sec

3. (4), Peter Cunningham, W. Bend, Wis., Acura NSX SC, 17, -7.886.

4. (5), Jeff McMillin, Erie, Pa., BMW M3, 17, -9.807.

5. (8), Phil McClure, Floris, Iowa, Corvette ZO6, 17, -26.783.


7. (10), Derek Bell, Pagham, England, Audi S4 Comp., 17, -36.108.


18. (7), Joel Nelson(R), Reno, Nev., Audi S4 Comp., 6, Engine

Heat waves rise as the SPEED GT field awaits the green light The Start - 1 The Start - 2
The Start - 3 The Start - 4 The Start - 5 - Galati on the racing line into Turn One, and a fine start for Nelson
The Start - 6 The Start - 7 - Nelson and Bell on the inside line as the GT pack flows through Turn One Beginning Lap 2 - Galati in charge, with Nelson in 5th and Bell just coming over the rise in 10th
Nelson battled strongly in the top five until engine problems ended his day early The expected battle with the Porsches failed to develop, leaving Galati a clear run at Road America
Derek Bell sets up Bob Miller's Porsche for the Rogaine Hair-Raising Pass of the Race. How appropriate... Bell motors on to 7th place A delighted Michael Galati, Winner at Road America
Announcer Tommy Hnatiw holds forth as Derek enjoys his second Hair-Raising Pass award in as many races The top three SPEED GT finishers celebrate in Victory Lane A cooling Champagne shower for Galati, courtesy of van Overbeek and Cunningham
Galati and Audi #1 at Road America
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