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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  

Road Atlanta (12 Oct, 2002) - Michael Galati missed out on a podium finish in one of the closest and most hard-fought SPEED GT races of the season at Road Atlanta, though his fourth-place result was good enough to preserve his GT Drivers' points lead over arch-rival and Atlanta race winner Peter Cunningham as the SPEED GT circus heads to VIR for the 2002 World Challenge finale.

Rookie Paul Edwards, who stunned the GT field by putting his #3 Audi S4 Competition on the front row during Atlanta qualifying, had a fantastic start and took and held the race lead in the early stages of the race. Though he fell back to fourth during the race, Edwards recovered to hold a solid third place as the laps wound down. But, recognizing Galati's situation in the GT Championship points hunt, Edwards (competing in just his second World Challenge race) dropped back on the last lap to finish fifth, behind Galati, who earned an extra two points in the process to bolster a narrowing points gap to Cunningham.

Derek Bell, in the #2 Audi S4, got his usual excellent start, running fourth on the opening lap, only to see his chances dashed when he and John Young were punted off into the gravel trap at turn six by another competitor. Bell pitted for a thorough inspection that revealed a bent wheel, which was soon replaced and Derek rejoined the fray, ultimately finishing sixteenth on the day.

Starting the No. 42 RealTime Racing Acura NSX from the second row, Cunningham ran in fourth place for the first half of the event before making a charge to the front, passing Paul Edwards, of Santa Maria, Calif., on lap 12, Pobst on lap 15 and Michael Galati, of N. Olmstead, Ohio, on lap 16 for the race lead. From there, Cunningham was out front for the remaining 11 laps of the 27-lap race to win by 0.650-second, averaging 95.095 mph.

For series point leader Galati, the event looked like a great opportunity to extend his point lead. From his fifth starting spot, he got a great jump at the green light and was able to take the lead on lap four when he made a daring pass around both Edwards and Pobst in turn one. The pass was named the Rogaine “Hair Raising Pass of the Day” by the SPEED Channel broadcast team.

With the win, Cunningham was able to close the gap on Galati to 15 points, 246 to 231. The second-place finish by Pobst clinched the 2002 Manufacturers’ Title for Porsche, their third title in the last four years.

Results from SPEED GT at Road Atlanta:

1. (4), Peter Cunningham, W. Bend, Wis., Acura NSX SC, 27 laps

2. (1), Randy Pobst, Gainesville, Ga., Porsche 911 Cup, - .65sec

3. (3), Phil McClure, Floris, Iowa, Corvette ZO6, -12.344.

4. (5), Michael Galati, N. Olmstead, Ohio, Audi S4 Comp., -15.124.

5. (2), Paul Edwards(R), Santa Maria, Calif., Audi S4 Comp., -15.629


16. (9), Derek Bell, Pagham, England, Audi S4 Comp., -2 laps

SPEED GT Drivers Points after Road Atlanta:

1 - Michael Galati, Audi S4 Comp. 246

2 - Peter Cunningham, Acura NSX SC 231

3 - Johannes van Overbeek, Porsche 911 Cup 194

4 - Randy Pobst, Porsche 911 Cup 191

5 - Jeff McMillin, BMW M3 188

6 - John Young(R), Saleen SR 175

7 - Derek Bell, Audi S4 Comp. 156

Rookie Paul Edwards lines up second, but is determined to lead from the start... Paul hits the rev limiter, but gets away fast and clean, while Derek Bell slots in behind Michael Galati on the inside line Edwards has the jump on Randy Pobst's Porsche, and Galati's inside line gives him the advantage over Pobst for second
heading up the hill, Edwards first, Galati second, Bell fifth Full-course Caution due to van Overbeek/Bell/Young incident at turn six...Paul Edwards leads handily at the start of lap two Derek pits to inspect his Audi S4, but continues after a bent wheel is replaced
Restart...Edwards leads, moving over to protect the inside line from a charging Randy Pobst Pobst tucks under Edwards' rear bumper through One, while Galati, on the outside line, reflects in both Audi and Porsche the battle between Edwards (r) and Pobst allows Galati (l) to move into the race lead
Galati pulls off the Rogaine Hair Raising Pass of the Day, passing both Pobst and Edwards Edwards has been shuffled back to third, as Pobst breaks out of line to challenge Galati into Turn One Pobst, Galati, Edwards, Cunningham
PD works his way past Edwards for third, while Phil McClure hounds Edwards Derek Bell, back in the race but laps down, meets the curbing with enthusiasm Galati leads Pobst and Cunningham...for now...
when Pobst falters temporarily, Cunningham takes the advantage and the race lead Paul Edwards...not about to give up, takes and holds third spot as the laps wind down Edwards proves himself a team player, allowing Galati past and into fourth...and two extra valuable points...Edwards comes fifth, Bell 16th
No podium finishes for Champion Audi at Road Atlanta, but Galati earns the Rogaine Hair-raising pass of the race award for his move on Pobst
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