Aquilante’s GTS clean sweep “probably” last win for Mustang
Pirelli World Challenge GTS ace Andrew Aquilante believes his double victory for Pheonix Performance at St Petersburg will “probably” be the last for a Ford Mustang Boss 302 in the series.
Aquilante’s clean sweep of the races took the Mustang’s tally to six straight PWC GTS wins on the streets of the Florida city – but the increasing amount of GT4 machinery in the class likely means an end to the older-generation machinery winning again.
“It’s cool to pull out two wins, that’s six in a row for the Mustang here – and it’s probably going to be the last one,” he said.
Despite his double victory, Aquilante has no plans to run the full PWC season due to a lack of funding.
He added: “It sounds like there’s a few cars with no drivers signed for VIR, so there’s a guy here with a lot of points in a good position, championship-wise!”
Aquilante admitted that success owed much to track changes made on Thursday night.
He twice passed the all-new Chevrolet Camaro GT4 of Lawson Aschenbach between the exit of Turn 3 – which was modified after a series of crashes in practice on Thursday – and Turn 4.
The corner was tightened after a repaving process had made the fast corner too treacherous, and the long curb that was installed played into the hands of Aquilante’s ageing Mustang. Aschenbach’s brand new Chevy was too stiffly sprung to ride the Turn 3 kerb, costing him vital mid-corner and exit speed.
“I have to thank the guys who paved it and had to put that [new] curb in there, because that made the race weekend – I’ll be honest,” said Aquilante. “We were strong there. There are horses for courses and our horse was the right one for this course.
“I think that’s partially due to the rules, the suspension is a lot more open to us, but that’s always been our trademark – the car will pick up a wheel because it’s soft and spongy – and it worked here.”
Aschenbach upbeat despite defeat
Despite failing to win on the Chevy’s debut, Aschenbach was encouraged by the performance out of the box from his Camaro GT4.
“What happened was not unexpected,” rued Aschenbach later. “I kinda had a feeling that Turn 3 would be our Achilles Heel again, and Andrew did a great job of jumping that kerb non-stop.
“The car only ran its first laps on Tuesday, so to come here and set the pole with a new track record, so I’m really excited about the rest of the season.”
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