Ford Racing Mustang Challenge Making Watkins Glen International Debut Tooele, UT-- (3 June 2010) After a one month break between rounds three and four, it is a quick return to race action for the Ford Racing Mustang Challenge drivers and teams...
Ford Racing Mustang Challenge Making Watkins Glen International Debut
Tooele, UT-- (3 June 2010) After a one month break between rounds three and four, it is a quick return to race action for the Ford Racing Mustang Challenge drivers and teams as round five is set to go green this Sunday at Watkins Glen International. The visit to the famed upstate New York circuit is a debut race outing for the Mustang Challenge racers, who are fresh from race battle in from last weekend's visit to Lime Rock Park.
The 3.4-mile circuit is a drivers treat, climbing over 100 feet in elevation as the drivers charge through the Esses, through the Inner Loop into the Outer Loop, and then down into the famed Boot, and the Toes of the Boot before the drivers return to take one more fast right hander to return to the front stretch.
The race outing is part of another GRAND-AM combined event weekend as the Rolex racers stage the annual Six Hours of the Glen on Saturday.
The Mustang Challenge race at Lime Rock Park saw Tony Buffomante take some vengeance on the disappointment that he experienced at VIR, as he led the race from flag to flag to score his first win of the year and the debut race victory for Capaldi Racing. The former karting phenom feels as though he's got the right momentum heading to the right track this weekend.
"Watkins Glen is the home race for me and the Buffomante family so I'm VERY excited about this weekend," said Buffomante, who lives in Chicago but is originally a Corning native. "The last time I raced at that track, I ended up in the hospital so hopefully this weekend will be better! The Capaldi Racing guys should have another fast car for me, and I couldn't have a better teacher and coach for a race at Watkins Glen than my father. With the pole and the win, we scored maximum points at Lime Rock and we have to keep doing that to get back in this championship."
That championship battle, which opened with Jason von Kluge cruising to three straight race wins, tightened as Buffomante took to the top step. But the Lime Rock weekend was far from a disaster for von Kluge, who was strong in his first-ever visit to the track as he scored third at the finish despite starting from sixth. That quick learning will do the Michigan native well again this weekend as the Glen round is his first visit to the track.
"Hopefully we can be alright again at the Glen," said von Kluge. "I know it's a bigger track than Lime Rock, but I think I can pick it up quickly. We have more time to soak it all in this weekend than I did at Lime Rock and hope that helps. I know Tony will be good there with his knowledge of the place but if I can just keep it clean and have a good run, I think we'll be ok."
Richard Golinello will look to close the deal after a mechanical issue took him out of podium position at Lime Rock, with impressive young racer Kyle Gimple hoping to go one better than his runner-up finish last weekend to boost him in the points. George Winkler had a weekend to forget at Lime Rock, but he'll look to his past experience at the Glen to climb back on the podium on Sunday. The series also welcomes back both Jim Click Racing drivers Jim Click and Mike McGovern, who was third in the 2008 Mustang Challenge Championship, for the Watkins Glen round.
The weekend will kick off with testing on Thursday.