Buffomante Bolts to Ford Racing Mustang Challenge Championship Lead Series returns to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course this weekend as part of GRAND-AM EMCO Gears event Tooele, UT-- (15 June 2010) -- The Ford Racing Mustang Challenge championship...
Buffomante Bolts to Ford Racing Mustang Challenge Championship Lead
Series returns to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course this weekend as part of GRAND-AM EMCO Gears event
Tooele, UT-- (15 June 2010) -- The Ford Racing Mustang Challenge championship battle dialed up another notch in intensity after Tony Buffomante's Watkins Glen race win catapulted him to a five point advantage over Jason von Kluge in the Mustang Challenge championship standings.
That five point edge will surely be tested this weekend as this Sunday's Ford Racing Mustang Challenge race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course marks the start to the second half of the 2010 season as the series returns to the 2.258-mile natural terrain road circuit for round six of the 11-race championship.
Buffomante's Watkins Glen pole position and flag to flag run up front in challenging conditions marked his second win in succession after the Chicago resident broke through for his first victory of the season just a week earlier when the Mustang Challenge visited Lime Rock Park as part of the Memorial Day weekend event. Von Kluge, who took wins in the three opening rounds, had a strong start to the Glen race as he threatened for another podium finish early in the race, only to suffer a braking issue and come home in eighth.
For von Kluge, the return to Mid-Ohio should be welcome news, as he's had the extra challenge of learning new tracks the past two rounds. While the Michigan residents race pace and qualifying times showed him to be a very quick study at both Lime Rock Park and Watkins Glen, he's happy to be going to a track that he already knows.
Buffomante has a podium result at Mid-Ohio to his credit, having scored third in the Mid-Ohio round last season to von Kluge's run to sixth. In reviewing the 2009 Mustang Challenge race at Mid-Ohio, there is yet more evidence that this weekend should produce another close finish and is another example of how tight the racing in the Mustang Challenge can be as Buffomante's fastest lap of the race (1:37.837-seconds) was just .03 of a second (1:37.867-seconds) faster than von Kluge.
"The Capaldi Racing guys have been doing an awesome job and I just want to keep doing what we've been doing the last few rounds," said Buffomante. "We are going to have to be strong because I know that Jason (von Kluge) and everyone else are right there with me ready to take it and I don't want to make it easy for them. It was great to be on the podium at Mid-Ohio with my dad and family last year, and I'd like to do it from the top step this weekend!"
Mustang Challenge Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course News and Notes:
The entry list has grown following the Watkins Glen round as VIR debutant Robert Korzen as well as Sloan Urry and Ben Crosland re-join the action at Mid-Ohio. Also back following a strong race outing at Watkins Glen are both Jim Click Racing drivers--Mike McGovern and Jim Click.
Several drivers have graduated from the Mustang Challenge to race in the GRAND-AM Sports Car Challenge, with Mustang Challenge racer Zach Lutz recently breaking through for his first GRAND-AM victory at VIR in April. Steve Phillips and Brad Adams as well as Jim Click and Mike McGovern will race in both the Mustang Challenge event as well as the GRAND-AM Sports Car Challenge.
More Drivers "Taking Control" in 2010
The 2010 season has been a highly competitive one, all the way through the field. The BFGoodrich "Take Control" Award, which rewards the driver making up the most positions during the race with two BFGoodrich g-Force R1 Tires, has seen five different drivers up on the podium to pick up the award in five different rounds.
Zach Lutz (Homestead)
George Winkler (Homestead)
Ben Crosland (VIR)
Brad Adams (Lime Rock)
Dan Aweida (Watkins Glen)
We're Going GREEN!
Initiated for the first time at the VIR race weekend, the Greenfiltersusa.com "We're Going Green" Award rewards the driver who makes up the most positions on the opening lap with a check for $250. GREEN Filters are the Official Filters for the Mustang Challenge, and every Ford Mustang FR500S machine you see racing this weekend carries the part for improved performance.
Steve Phillips (VIR)
Richard Golinello (Lime Rock Park)
Richard Golinello (Watkins Glen)
Sunday Group Management Rookies of the Race Make Donations to Austin
The highest finishing eligible Rookie drivers win a $150 donation given in their name to the official charity of the Mustang Challenge-The Austin Hatcher Foundation.
John "Chip" Scarlett (Homestead)
Richard Golinello (Homestead)
Kyle Gimple (VIR, Lime Rock, Watkins Glen)