Buffomante Records Best Time In Mustang Challenge Practice TOOELE, Utah, 10 September - Title aspirant Tony Buffomante can rest a little easier tonight in anticipation of the first of two Ford Racing Mustang Challenge races this weekend at...
Buffomante Records Best Time In Mustang Challenge Practice
TOOELE, Utah, 10 September - Title aspirant Tony Buffomante can rest a little easier tonight in anticipation of the first of two Ford Racing Mustang Challenge races this weekend at Miller Motorsports Park that will decide the series championship.
He and Jason von Kluge enter in a dead heat, but Buffomante goes to bed tonight with the slight edge having recorded the fastest lap of the day after two 45-minute practice sessions. Buffomante piloted the No. 34 Capaldi Racing Mustang FR500S around the 3.048-mile Miller outer course during Practice 2 in 2:08.454 seconds, good for an average lap speed of 125.723 mph.
Ben Crosland recorded the second best time of the day, which was indeed the fastest time of the morning session. His best lap was good for 2:08.502 seconds. Kyle Gimple was second best in Practice 2, which earned him the third fastest time overall, with a lap completed in 2:08.521 seconds. Thus, a mere 0.067 seconds separated the three best drivers of the day.
"Today went well. After one and half days of changes, we finally have a chassis set up to be happy with. We may make some minor tweaks tomorrow, but we've eliminated most of our problems. Overall, I think Ben (Crosland) is the class of the field in terms of consistent speed," said Buffomante. "We're not getting too crazy trying things just because it's the last race and the title is on the line. We're staying loose and working our program just like any other race weekend. I expect the pole will trade hands a few times tomorrow before someone keeps it for good, and I hope it's me. I'd like to be ahead of any potential mess in turn 1."
Gimple as well was happier with the adjustment he made to the No. 81 ICY Racing Mustang after the second practice.
"We managed to dial out most of the push and get a good bite exiting the corners," he said. "Since our race is after the Grand-Am Rolex Series race tomorrow, the track is going to be really dirty off line, so getting the inside row will be ideal, particularly if it's the inside front row."
For his part, von Kluge was the fourth quickest of the day, second fastest in the first session. However in the second practice, he managed only four laps owing to a fuel meter fault that sidelined him in the early going. Nevertheless he was upbeat at the prospects of qualifying knowing that he was among the few drivers who did not opt to run new BF Goodrich g-Force R1 tires. Despite the setbacks, the fourth best time bodes well.
Rounding out the fast-five from combined practice is Mike McGovern making a return to the series with Jim Click Racing after over a year's absence. His quickest tour of Miller Motorsports Park was recorded in 2:08.967 seconds.
A special nod goes to Mustang Challenge Shootout grand-prize winner Dean Thomas. On his professional race debut, he acquitted himself very favorably by setting the 12th and 14th best times respectively over the two practice sessions.
Qualifying for race one of two takes place tomorrow morning at 9:45AM Mountain time. Follow it live at mustangchallenge.com.