BRASELTON, Ga. (October 10, 2002) –
In what is surely one of the highlights of the 2002 SPEED GT season,
Paul Edwards set the second-fastest time in Thursday's qualifying session
#3 Champion Audi S4, bested only by 3-R Racing's Randy Pobst. Michael
fifth, while Derek Bell qualified ninth.
As has been the case in each of his four pole-winning efforts, Pobst was
right out of the box, laying down a record 1:32.207 (99.168 mph) on his
flying lap around the 10-turn 2.54-mile Road Atlanta circuit. His lap in
22 1st Interstate Inn/3R Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup demolished the 2001
of 1:33.918 set by Peter Cunningham.
While the pole winner was no real surprise, Edwards’ effort in second
was the real story of the session. His lap of 1:32.446 (98.911 mph) was
for second quick in the No. 3 Champion Racing Audi S4 Competition—more
eight-tenths of a second faster than teammate, defending series Champion
leader Michael Galati.
“I know how competitive this series is, so I was hoping I could adapt
to the different type of car,” said Edwards, who leaves Saturday to go to
the Red Bull Driver Search competition in France. “Prior to Laguna Seca,
my only experience in a car with fenders was a 15-lap test in a Corvette
two years ago.
“I really had to change my technique to suit these cars, and I’m getting
more comfortable with each session. At Laguna Seca, I was missing shifts
into the gravel. Here, I’ve only dropped a wheel here or there.”
Edwards is excited about the potential for rain Friday.
“I love the rain,” said Edwards. “I’ve done half of my racing
in Europe in the rain, and I’ve seen Quattros in the old BTCC, similar to
these, dominate. [Randy] Pobst has had a very strong car the last few
I think if it rains, I could be gone on the first lap.”
Peter Cunningham, of W. Bend, Wis., qualified fourth in his Acura NSX SC.
attempting to close on Galati, who qualified fifth, in the Drivers’
Galati presently has a 23 point advantage over Cunningham.
Friday’s race is set to start at 4:55 p.m. (Eastern).
Results from SPEED GT Qualifying:
1. (22), Randy Pobst, Gainesville, Ga., Porsche 911 Cup, 1:32.207,
2. (3), Paul Edwards(R), Santa Maria, Calif.,
Audi S4 Comp., 1:32.446, 98.911
3. (73), Phil McClure, Floris, Iowa, Corvette ZO6, 1:32.532, 98.819.
4. (42), Peter Cunningham, W. Bend, Wis., Acura NSX SC, 1:32.620, 98.725.
5. (1), Michael Galati, N. Olmstead, Ohio,
Audi S4 Comp., 1:32.860, 98.470.
9. (2), Derek Bell, Pagham, England, Audi S4
Comp., 1:33.531, 97.764.