Champion Racing’s Randy Pobst and Michael Galati expect their Audi RS 6 Competitions will be back in contention for race honors in the next round of the Speed GT World Challenge at Road America, Elkhart Lake, Wis., on Sunday (3 Aug).
Pobst lies second in series having scored a top-three finish in five of the season’s six races staged to date. Defending GT champion Galati, meanwhile, has borne the brunt of misfortune in many of this season’s races although recorded a 2003 personal best sixth place finish in the last race at the Infineon Raceway [Sears Point, CA] last Sunday (27 Jul).
While the characteristics of last weekend’s Sears track were arguably the least favorable on the 10-race calendar for the large, four-door Audi sedan, the famous 4.048-mile, 14-turn Road America track is likely to allow Randy and Michael to fully use the potential of the all-wheel-drive Audi and its powerful V8 bi-turbo motor.
Pobst bids to re-take the series lead after being deposed last Sunday when he was forced to pit two laps from the checker with a punctured right, front tire necessitating a pit-stop.
The Audi Sport North America supported Champion Racing team started from pole-position (2:23.871secs, 101.290mph), scored a dominant, green light to checker victory and set the fastest lap (2:25.349secs, 100.260mph) courtesy Galati in the Audi S4 Competition - a model replaced by the RS 6 this year.
“I started from pole and won last year’s Speed GT race at Road America and I’m hoping for a repeat performance. It should definitely be a good track for the RS 6 and I’m doubly looking forward to the weekend because it is one of my favorite tracks. It will be particularly important to take good care of the brakes during the race. We’ll be hitting between 160-170mph at times and braking down to around 50mph each lap so they have a lot of work to do for around 50-minutes.”
“Road America is well-known for its long straight-aways which should perfectly suit the Audi’s powerful, twin turbo V8 motor. I love the track which has changed very little since I first raced there many years ago. It’s in a beautiful setting and features both fast and slow corners combined with the extremely fast ‘kink’ section that again, I believe, will be perfect for the new Audis with our all-wheel-drive traction. I led the GT class in last year’s ALMS race at Road America and have previously won a Grand-Am GT category race at Road America.”
Timetable – Speed GT World Challenge
Thursday: 0840-0910 / 1040-1110 / 1340-1425 / 1625-1710 (General Testing)
Friday: 1315-1415 (Practice)
Saturday: 0900-0945 (Practice). 1300-1330 (Qualifying)
Sunday: 1120-1215 Race
2003 Speed GT World Challenge – Driver’s Standings (after 6 races)
1 Bill Auberlen (BMW M3), 162-points
2 Randy Pobst (Audi RS 6 Competition), 153
3 Phil McClure (Corvette Z06), 151
4 Hans Stuck (BMW M3), 124
5 Justin Marks (BMW M3), 106
6 Boris Said (BMW M3), 104
12 Michael Galati (Audi RS 6 Competition), 67
2003 Speed GT World Challenge – Manufacturers’ Standings (after 6 races)
1 BMW, 40
2 Audi, 28
3 Chevrolet, 26
4 Porsche, 19