Buffomante Leads Ford Racing Mustang Challenge Practice at Watkins Glen Watkins Glen, NY -- (4 June 2010) Tony Buffomante was looking forward to returning to race at his home track as the Ford Racing Mustang Challenge debuted at Watkins Glen...
Buffomante Leads Ford Racing Mustang Challenge Practice at Watkins Glen
Watkins Glen, NY -- (4 June 2010) Tony Buffomante was looking forward to returning to race at his home track as the Ford Racing Mustang Challenge debuted at Watkins Glen International, and he showed his appreciation as he topped the timing sheets in both practice sessions on Friday. With a family history at the track and lots of local ties, Watkins Glen is a place that is close to Buffomante's heart and the Chicago resident will look to convert that prior knowledge into back to back victories in Mustang Challenge competition.
"So far so good. We haven't actually been here for some time, but I was able to pick it up pretty well yesterday," said Buffomante, who originally hailed from Corning. "Working on dialing the understeer out of this car. Kyle is running great, and I expect a lot out of him and Jason and everyone else. Pratt (Cole) always shows up when its money time! We are working on having a good comfort level with the car. We don't really want to have a car thats only good for the pole, and not good over the race distance. But on the other hand, we are fighting as much as we can in this championship and we want those five points you get for winning the pole. So we just have to see what we can do to find that balance and consistency.
Shadowing Buffomante in both sessions was impressive young racer Kyle Gimple, who scored the Sunday Group Management "Rookie of the Race" for the second consecutive event as he took a debut podium result with his run to second place at Lime Rock Park. While that effort for the win came up just short, the ICY Racing driver thinks he might have learned a thing or two that will help him at race time on Sunday.
"This is my first time here, and it is a fast track," said Gimple, who spent time between sessions throwing ideas around with his competitors--and new friends--as everyone exchanged ideas about what was working for them as everyone takes on the new addition to the Mustang Challenge schedule. "There are a lot of high speed turns that will really make tire management key during the race. I think I learned a lot last week at Lime Rock about doing a good job of that. I charged too hard, too early, so I wasn't able to do what I wanted to at the end of the race. If I can do a better job of that this weekend we should be right there at the end."
Mike McGovern posted strong times in both sessions as he and Jim Click make a welcome return to the Mustang Challenge, as championship leader Jason von Kluge, Dane Aweida, and Steve Phillips all jockeyed for positions in the top five in both sessions, promising yet another competitive race on Sunday.
Saturday will be a quiet day for the teams, as many will take in the GRAND-AM Sports Car Challenge race in the morning ahead of the classic Sahlen's Six Hour in the afternoon.
Tony Buffomante will not be slowing down, though, as he heads out to race his kart in a nearby IKF event...