"It's pretty cool. A new challenge for me, and an opportunity to run back in Touring Car," Galati said. "I look forward to working together with the team to make the car more competitive. It has good potential.
"I've driven everything," he added in reference to moving from all-wheel-drive in GT and front drive in previous Touring Cars to the rear-wheel-drive Mercedes-Benz. "It will take a little bit of adjustment."
Focusing primarily on the SCCA SPEED GT program, which saw him win two Drivers' Championships and finish runner-up twice, including 2004, Galati has only made one SCCA SPEED Touring Car start since winning the 1999 Championship, coming at Road Atlanta in 2003.
A native of Italy, Galati ranks in the top three of every major statistical category of the 16-year old SCCA SPEED World Challenge program, and is its only driver to win more than three Drivers' Championships.
"It's a little tough to predict how we'll run this weekend, but we know it can be very competitive," Galati added. "Maybe not this race, but definitely soon."
Lockhart noted that at this point, Galati will drive the car at St. Petersburg, but did not rule out the possibility of expanding the relationship throughout the remainder of the season.
Practice for this Sunday's SCCA SPEED Touring Car Championship Round Two race at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg begins Friday morning. For a complete schedule and links to live timing and scoring, please visit www.world-challenge.com. This weekend's SPEED Touring Car race will be broadcast on SPEED Channel Sunday, April 10 at 1:00 p.m. (Eastern).