Skeen, Galati Win Saturday in Pirelli World Challenge GT/GTS at CTMP
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario, Canada (June 23, 2012) - Mike Skeen, of Charlotte, N.C., made it three in-a-row in Pirelli World Challenge GT competition at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, winning the first of two races on the weekend as part of the Motul CTMP Grand Prix Presented by Optima Batteries. Michael Galati, of Olmsted, Ohio, gave Kia its first series win in Pirelli World Challenge GTS competition.
Starting from the pole in his No. 02 Hawk Performance Chevrolet Corvette, Skeen watched second-starting Randy Pobst rocket to the lead with his all-wheel drive in the No. 6 K-PAX Racing Volvo S60 on the standing start. Pobst jumped to a huge lead, which was for naught as teammate Alex Figge spun into the Turn One gravel and necessitated a full course caution for extraction.
Skeen got the jump on the restart and put the Corvette back out front for good to score his fifth-career win, his third-straight after sweeping the pair of races in 2011.
Behind Skeen, Pobst ran second until the car experienced a mechanical failure and caught fire on lap 10, bringing out another caution. The fire and subsequent caution was the Kia Turning Point of the Race.
"This Hawk Performance Corvette is awesome," Skeen said. "CRP Racing did a great job. We've had no hiccups this weekend. Thank goodness, because we've had a pretty tough year. It feels really good for the guys. They were up until three last night working on everything.
"After the Volvo [Pobst] got around us on the start, I tried to figure out what was going to happen and how I could get him. I got lucky on the restart. I think everybody was surprised how quickly we went back to green. I got him on the restart. Then he fell off unfortunately. He had the fire. I hope he's alright. I am really glad to be here and really happy for all of the guys."
Pobst was treated, released and cleared to drive after the fire, although his car may not be available to race on Sunday.
Skeen's best lap of 1:20.486 (109.986 mph) established a new Pirelli World Challenge GT class race lap record.
The extended cleanup period set up an eight-lap dash to the checkered flag. Skeen got away quickly and Andy Pilgrim gave chase in the No. 8 Cadillac Racing Cadillac CTS-V.R with his teammate, point leader Johnny O'Connell in