Aschenbach wins Mid-Ohio GTS bout after chaotic start
Lawson Aschenbach won the only GTS class race of the Pirelli World Challenge at Mid-Ohio, after race one was postponed until later in the year due to poor weather yesterday.
From the standing start, both front-row sitters made poor launches with points leader Brett Sandberg (KTM XBow) almost stalling from pole and fellow front-row man Jade Buford’s SIN R1 also slow away.
With the second row trying to make it four-wide on the run to Turn 1, fourth-fastest qualifier Jeff Courtney (Maserati) got into Buford’s right-rear, sending him hard right and smashing into the concrete wall.
While all that unfolded, Aschenbach grabbed the lead, ahead of Martin Barkey (KTM) and the Ford Mustang of Nate Stacy.
After a lengthy yellow-flag period, Aschenbach pulled 2s clear out front as Stacy passed Barkey for second and Jack Roush Jr followed suit behind, taking fourth from Sandberg.
Barkey was mugged for third by Roush and Sandberg a lap later.
Another full-course caution was required when Mark Klenin spun his Maserati into the gravel on the exit of the final corner due to right-rear suspension failure.
At the restart, Aschenbach was forced to defend initially from youngster Stacy. Barkey tumbled down the order from fifth after running wide at Turn 1 on lap 15.
Aschenbach managed the gap at 1s over Stacy, as Aschenbach’s title rival Sandberg pressured Roush for third.
Sandberg found a way past Roush into third place with a great move at Turn 9, as Scott Heckert followed suit soon after for fourth.
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