Ford Mustang ace Jack Roush Jr won his second race of the GTS class weekend in the Pirelli World Challenge at St Petersburg, after his teammate and longtime leader Nate Stacy crashed out.
From the standing start, poleman Brett Sandberg’s KTM XBow got the jump on yesterday’s winner Roush Jr, but neither could do anything about the similar Mustang of Stacy, who rocketed between them to lead.
Lawson Aschenbach made a daring lunge to the outside of Roush to Turn 1 to snatch third in his Chevrolet Camaro.
Stacy pulled away up front, as Sandberg kept the duelling Aschenbach and Roush at bay.
Dore Chaponick Jr held fifth in the second KTM early on, ahead of the Maserati of Charles Espenlaub.
A full course yellow was shown on lap six, after Mark Klenin’s wild spin through the sweepers after a cheeky touch from Derek DeBoer’s Aston Martin. He had just resumed power as the caution was called.
Stacy aced the restart, as Aschenbach tried to force the issue with Sandberg through Turn 1, but couldn’t find a way by. A lap later, it was Roush attacking Aschenbach at the same place as the battle for the podium places ebbed and flowed.
Roush blew past Aschenbach on the start/finish straight at the start of lap 11, as the Chevy seemed to stutter, but they resumed battle soon after.
Further back, Parker Chase dropped way back after a dismal start in his Ginetta, but he fought his way up to fifth by lap 15, passing Espenlaub and Chaponick.
As the race entered its second half, Sandberg began to apply pressure to Stacy, with Roush right on his tail too. Chase caught right up with Aschenbach, the pair swapping place in spectacular style.
Stacy crashed out with 20 minutes on the clock, causing a second full course yellow, after plunging off the track at the final corner and hitting the barrier head-on.
The race restarted with Roush outbraking Sandberg into Turn 1 for the lead with 12 minutes remaining, while Aschenbach just held off Chase for third.
Chase finally found a way past Aschenbach at Turn 10 with a couple of minutes on the clock, to grab the final spot on the podium, with Espenlaub doing likewise on the final lap to take fourth.
Sandberg hounded winner Roush to the chequered flag – even trying to pass around the outside at the final corner and clouting the wall on the exit.