SCCA NEWS: Galati Takes SPEED GT Pole at Lowe's Motor Speedway

Photo by John Thawley CONCORD, N.C. (May. 24, 2007) - Michael Galati, of Olmsted, Ohio, will start Thursday night"s Round Four SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championship race on pole at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Taking place on CTC Pole Night, the race will follow NASCAR Nextel Cup Qualifying. Michael McCann, of North Canton, Ohio, will start second.

Collecting his first pole since Mid-Ohio in 2004, Galati needed only one lap to put in his pole time of 49.293 (108.088 mph) at the 1.5-mile modified oval. After pacing morning practice, the No. 23 K-PAX Racing LCC/Jim Haughey Porsche 911 GT3 driver shaved nearly half a second off of his time to capture his 22nd career-pole.

"It’s really nice to be here,” Galati said. “It’s a little bit different with just a couple chicanes on the oval, we’re pretty much flat-out the whole way around. Going into the chicanes we’re braking really hard, but then we’re back on the gas full song. We were here back in 2000, but we were using the road course, it’s completely different this time.”

“I think our car is good because it’s lighter. We don’t have the torque at the bottom end, but we can brake really deep and do the transition very quick, so in the middle of the corner, the braking is really good. We don’t have the same top speed on the straightaway, but here it’s the exit of the corners that’s really important. If you can get out of there a couple miles an hour quicker than the other guy, you’re gonna be up front.”

With the pole, Galati earned enough points to pass Tommy Archer in the standings and enters the race this evening second in the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED GT Championship. Archer’s car was damaged in practice and could not be repaired in time for qualifying.

Putting in his best qualifying effort of the season, McCann placed his No. 82 McCann Plastics/K&N Filters Dodge Viper second on the grid with a time of 49.351 (107.961 mph). Shortly after setting his fast time, McCann had a bearing failure in a wheel hub that sidelined his car off course at the first chicane. He stayed parked there for the rest of the session.

Galati’s teammate, Randy Pobst, of Gainesville, Ga., will start just behind his teammate in third. Driving the No 23 K-PAX Racing LLC/Jim Haughey Porsche 911 GT3, Pobst entered a time of 49.354 (107.954 mph).

Starting fourth is the No. 8 XM/Mobil 1/Motorola/Bose Cadillac CTS-V of Andy Pilgrim, of Boca Raton, Fla., who turned in a time of 49.478 (107.684 mph). Lou Gigliotti, of Dallas, Texas, will start fifth in his No. 28 LG Pro Long Tube Headers Chevrolet Corvette with a time of 49.506 (107.623 mph).

James Sofronas (Porsche 911 GT3), current point leader Eric Curran (Chevrolet Corvette), Brian Kubinski (Chevrolet Corvette), Rob Foster (Dodge Viper) and NASCAR Nextel Cup star Kasey Kahne (Dodge Viper) will complete the top ten on the grid.

Tonight’s SCCA SPEED GT Race will launch from a standing start at approximately 8:45 p.m. (EDT) following Nextel Cup qualifying.

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