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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  

15 March 2002 (Sebring, Florida) - Reigning World Challenge GT Champion Michael Galati picked up where he left off in 2001, by winning the first Speed World Challenge GT race of 2002 at Sebring International Raceway, part of the 12 Hours of Sebring weekend. Team mate Derek Bell brought his Audi S4 Competition home in 7th place.

Galati won the inaugural Woody's Ice Pole Award at a speed of 95.669mph over the 3.7-mile Sebring road course, besting Peter Cunningham's 95.067mph speed in the RealTime Acura NSX. Third qualifying spot went to G&W Motorsports' Johannes van Overbeek, who clocked a 94.940mph lap in his Porsche 911 Cup. Derek Bell encountered trouble with his gearbox/shifter during the qualifying session, setting a speed of 94.107mph, good for ninth on the starting grid.

Galati and Bell got away cleanly at the standing start of Friday's 50-minute Speed GT feature race, with Galati taking the lead over rival Cunningham as the field rushed toward Turn One. Back in the pack, however, three cars got together, resulting in a long full-course caution to clean up the debris, and all three cars involved were out of the race.

At the restart Galati again moved out on the field with Cunningham in hot pursuit, though Galati remained unchallenged in the closing laps and took Victory by a margin of 4.750 seconds over Cunningham, who set fast lap of the race at 02:20.901 to Galati's best 2:21.583. Jeff McMillin brought his BMW M3 home third to take the final Podium spot. Derek Bell finished 7th after battling with the G&W Porsche of Justin Marks for several laps.

  Sebring Speed GT Results -

1. (1), Michael Galati, Audi S4 Comp., 18 laps.

2. (2), Peter Cunningham, Acura NSX SC, 18laps, -4.75sec.

3. (6), Jeff McMillin, BMW M3, 18, -8.127.

4. (7), Phil McClure, Corvette ZO6, 18, -12.038.

5. (4), John Young(R), Saleen SR, 18, -15.458.

6. (8), Justin Marks, Porsche 911 Cup, 18, -28.291.

7. (9), Derek Bell, Audi S4 Comp., 18, -30.917.
Scrutinizing the timing monitors during GT Qualifying Their Qualifying runs completed, G&W's Johannes van Overbeek and Mike Galati watch intently to see if their times hold.. Qualifying completed, GT Pole-sitter Galati gives Thumbs-Up
Michael Galati, Audi's Rod Bymaster and Derek Bell debrief a session Derek Bell during early week testing Marino Franchitti takes a turn in the "T" car
GT Champion Galati hustles his S4 during GT Qualifying Two Bells - Derek and Justin relax in the shade before Friday's Speed GT race Peter Cunningham and Michael Galati before the start of the Speed GT race
Galati leads the field toward Turn One seconds after the standing start Derek Bell just avoids the spinning melee behind him just after the start At the Restart, Bell and Marks race wheel-to-wheel into Turn One
Galati motors toward his first GT win of 2002 Galati (c), McMillin (l) and Cunningham (r) celebrate on the Sebring Podium
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