Buford inherits win in crazy GTS race at Lime Rock
Jade Buford scored the most unlikely of victories in a wild Pirelli World Challenge GTS race at Lime Rock on Saturday.
Buford, who only finished 10th in Friday’s opening race, inherited the win when longtime leader Lawson Aschenbach’s Chevrolet Camaro was taken out by the spinning KTM XBow of Brett Sandberg.
Aschenbach led from the start after holding off Sandberg through Turn 1, the pair heading Parker Chase’s Ginetta. Chase attacked Sandberg at a mid-race restart, but the status quo was maintained.
Hugh Plumb’s KTM XBow then set about Chase in third, the leading quartet running closely together at half distance.
With Aschenbach and Sandberg pulling clear out front, Plumb spun as he tried to pass Chase – who had run wide moments earlier.
Second-placed Sandberg pushed hard in the closing eight minutes of the race, and with six minutes to go he got alongside Aschenbach through the climbing Esses and West Bend – but somehow Aschenbach clung on.
Two laps later, Sandberg edged ahead with a late-braking move, only to run wide at the Esses. Sandberg spun and clipped Aschenbach’s Camaro hard. “He just outbraked himself, I tried to avoid him, but, unfortunate,” he said.
The controversy didn’t end there, as a wrecker truck joined the circuit and caused Jack Roush Jr’s Mustang to take avoiding action, which dropped him down the order.
Buford, who had been on course for fifth before all the shenanigans, won under yellow flags (caused by the wrecker truck being on track). “They kinda gave that one to me,” he admitted.
Aschenbach recovered to finish third to lead the points race. Chase was handed a drive-through penalty for causing avoidable contact, dropping to fifth behind Scott Dollahite (Lotus Evora).
In Friday’s race, Aschenbach had kept Sandberg at bay throughout to take the victory, with Sandberg 0.269s behind at the finish.
Scott Heckert’s SIN R1 finished third with Dollahite and Roush Jr completing the top five.
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