St Pete PWC: Aquilante doubles up in GTS class

Andrew Aquilante scored his second Pirelli World Challenge GTS victory of the weekend at St Petersburg on Saturday, his Ford Mustang once again overcoming the new Chevrolet Camaro GT4 of Lawson Aschenbach.

Aquilante made a terrible start from pole – bogging down badly at the standing start – and Aschenbach rocketed into lead. Aquilante just held second from Parker Chase’s Ginetta, ahead of the KTMs of Martin Barkey and Frankie Montecalvo.

Aquilante began to put Aschenbach under pressure from lap four, and made his way past at Turn 4 – in a similar fashion to the way he passed him in Friday’s race, by using the Turn 3 kerb aggressively to launch his attack on the following straight.

Aquilante extended a 1s lead by lap 10, but a full-course caution came out with 30 minutes remaining, after Jason Bell spun at Turn 12.

At the restart, Aquilante led again, but Barkey hit Aschenbach at Turn 1 as he lunged past Chase, removing his own hood. More collisions behind meant another yellow period, with a number of cars pulling off track simultaneously.

Aquilante kept it all under control in the closing stages of the race, beating Aschenbach – whose rear bumper was hanging off in the final stint – as the race ended under yellow for another crash.

Chase was 1.2s further in arrears, just clear of Montecalvo.

Harry Gottsacker’s Ginetta finished fifth, ahead of the Porsche Cayman of Rodrigo Baptista.

Jade Buford, who finished on the podium yesterday, failed to make the grid due to a technical issue with his SIN before the start.