SMYRNA, Ga. – The drivers and crew of Champion Audi (Pompano Beach, FL) will venture off the “mainland” this weekend and head south to compete in the tenth and final race of the SPEED World Challenge GT series. The inaugural Puerto Rico Grand Prix will make its debut October 24-26 in the capital city of San Juan.
Nearly 20 SPEED GT cars and drivers will show San Juan’s race fans why the SCCA SPEED World Challenge is North America’s premier sprint production car series. Featuring standing starts and no-holds barred competition, this series gives a whole new meaning to the fast and the furious. Champion Audi drivers Randy Pobst and Michael Galati will turn their Audi RS 6 Competition cars loose on the temporary 1.6-mile, 10-turn circuit at Isla Grande Airport, part of the Fernando Luis Ribas Dominicci Airport complex. This is the first time the SCCA SPEED World Challenge has raced on the Caribbean island.
With the SPEED GT Driver’s Championship very much in doubt, the stage is set for some high drama. BMW driver Bill Auberlen had a 20-point lead in the Drivers’ Championship over second-place Randy Pobst (Gainesville, Ga) heading into last week’s race at Road Atlanta. But mechanical trouble forced Auberlen to retire his BMW early enough for Pobst to take advantage of the situation. Meanwhile, Pobst went on to win the race and, in the process, picked up 30 points for his effort. Pobst now leads the Championship with 221 points heading into the Puerto Rico Grand Prix – 12 more than Auberlen.
There are a variety of scenarios to determine the next SPEED GT Drivers’ Championship, however, Pobst can clinch the Championship if he finishes fourth or better, regardless of where Auberlen finishes.
While the Drivers’ Championship maybe foremost in the mind of Randy Pobst, the team is focused on the Manufacturers’ Championship. Pobst’s win allowed Audi (49 points) to move within one point of BMW (50) for the title.
BMW can clinch the Manufacturers’ Championship if they finish ahead of Audi. Audi can clinch the title if they finish third or better and ahead of BMW,
The SCCA SPEED World Challenge GT race is set to make its standing start at 10:45 a.m. (EST) Sunday, October 26. SPEED Channel will provide tape-delay of this race on Saturday, November 15 at 5:00 p.m. (EST).
Randy Pobst: “The primary goal for this season has been to win the Manufacturer’s Championship. So that is what I will try to do on Sunday. We’ve been developing this car all season and I believe we have a chance to do just that. The interesting thing is that no one has seen or driven this track so there is very little information to go by. It looks small and windy so it might favor the smaller, lighter weight cars but until we get down there, we just don’t know.”
Michael Galati: “This is a great opportunity for us to race in a new country in front of new fans. On paper the track looks like a handling track so we’ll just have to see how well our RS 6′s do down there. Maybe we’ll even get lucky and it will rain some. No matter what, Randy and I are definitely going to try and get up on the podium again.”