St. Petersburg, FL – It was a top weekend for Phoenix American Motorsports during the Pirelli World Challenge event on the street circuit in St. Petersburg, Florida. Kurt Rezzetano brought home two GTS podiums and a Move of the Race award, while teammate Andrew Aquilante matched his best performance to date with a second runner-up finish. Preston Calvert logged his top GTS and GT Cup finishes of the season and took home the Best Standing Start award.
The action got going early on Friday morning when Rezzetano had a great start in the first GTS race of the weekend, briefly challenging for the lead in his No. 37 Calvert Dynamics Ford Mustang Boss 302S.
Rezzetano would score his best finish of the season with a second place and win the Cadillac Move of the Race award.
“Thank you to the crew for giving me a car that was really pretty good today,” said Rezzetano after the race. “We did a decent start and I was surprised because I thought I got some wheel spin, but then I looked over and saw I was in front of Spencer. I worked hard to get heat in the tires on the warm-up lap and then went back to my drag racing days to focus on the standing start. The Mustang is a great car for standing starts. Once we all got going I could see that Dean was driving a smart race and gauging me and my pace. When I saw him brush the wall in Turn 3, I thought I might have a chance. But then we got into traffic and it got pretty interesting.”
Aquilante looked to make things interesting after a rough start falling back to eighth place. The five-time SCCA National Champion charged through the field in his No. 32 entry and was closing on the race leaders before a mechanical issue ended his day in the Phoenix Performance and Calvert Dynamics-sponsored Mustang.
A day later Calvert scored his best GTS finish of the season with a 14th place drive, and a long battle with Buzz McCall in the closing stages. Teammates Aquilante and Rezzetano finished second and third, respectively.
“It was a really good race. It was good for Ford and the manufacturer points to go 1-2-3 because this may impact the weight of the Mustang at the next race,” said Aquilante. “The ability of the Mustang and its torque to drive off so many of the 90 degree corners is a big advantage here, especially with the live rear axle getting the power to the ground. We felt we would be able to be strong and we were.”
The GTS points are close heading to rounds five and six at Barber Motorsports Park, April 24-26, with Rezzetano in fourth place and Aquilante four points behind in fifth.
The GT Cup class was another talking point during the weekend with Calvert scoring two strong finishes and avoiding major incidents that happened directly in front of his No. 77 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. A massive crash at the start of Saturday’s race saw Calvert avoid the carnage and earn the Optima Batteries Best Standing Start en route to a fifth place finish.
Sunday’s race saw a crash with track nearly blocked in turn two, collecting a number of cars running directly in front of Calvert’s black and yellow Porsche. Calvert used the nimble Porsche and its braking power to avoid the incident, finishing fourth and moving up to fourth in the season-long points battle.
Next up for the GT Cup category and Calvert is a race on the Streets of Long Beach, April 17-19.
The races from St. Petersburg will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network on April 5 at 5pm eastern.
Team partners include Calvert Dynamics, Phoenix Performance, Ford Performance, Ron Davis Racing Radiators, Hawk Performance Brakes, Penske Racing Shocks, Brembo Brakes and Go Puck.
Phoenix Performance is a performance tuner, providing maintenance, tuning and diagnostic services for foreign and domestic cars and trucks, as well as performance upgrades and tuning for street and track cars. The team’s 32,000 square-foot-race shop is located 30 miles west of downtown Philadelphia and has prepared over 30 SCCA Runoff-winning cars. For 2015, Phoenix American Motorsports is running multi-car, multi-class effort in the Pirelli World Challenge.