Jack Roush Jr won Round 3 of the GTS class of the Pirelli World Challenge on the streets of St Petersburg in Florida.
Roush’s Mustang made a great start from his second career pole position, as fellow front row starter Lawson Aschenbach (Chevrolet Camaro) was tagged at first corner by Brett Sandberg’s KTM XBow but retained the runner-up spot.
Nate Stacy also made a great start in his Ford Boss 302, rising up from P7 to fourth, and this quartet pulled well clear of the opposition.
Behind them, Charles Espenlaub ran a distant fifth in his Maserati GranTurismo, from Parker Chase’s Ginetta.
Chase passed Espenlaub with a locked-up lunge at Turn 1 on lap 12.
Intense battle for positions
Stacy attempted a divebomb move on Sandberg for third at Turn 1 on lap five, but couldn’t make his move stick and ran wide. Sandberg made a mistake under braking at Turn 5, but Stacy just failed to capitalise by driving around him.
That appeared to spark Sandberg into life, and he sprinted away from Stacy to catch second-placed Aschenbach after a sequence of rapid laptimes.
The diminutive Austrian-built machine was all over Aschenbach’s American muscle car.
But an ill-advised move at Turn 7 resulted in contact and a loss of momentum for Sandberg, which allowed Stacy to nip ahead.
Stacy then divebombed Aschenbach at Turn 1 on the following lap, which got him ahead but Sandberg managed to pounce ahead of both of them.
Roush was 8s ahead at this point, while the battle raged behind him, and cruised to a dominant win.
Austin winner Aschenbach then tumbled back to sixth, passed by Chase and Dore Chaponick Jr’s KTM in the closing minutes.