Sonoma, CA – A four-race effort by Phoenix American Motorsports and Calvert Dynamics in the Pirelli World Challenge at Sonoma was highlighted by a third place run in Sunday’s race for Andrew Aquilante, helping seal the manufacturer’s Championship for Ford Performance, and setting up a Championship showdown in two weeks with a single race at Laguna Seca. In addition, the team continues to lead the team point Championship heading to the season finale.
After losing some Championship ground in Utah, the Phoenix Performance and Calvert Dynamics Ford Mustang Boss 302 of Aquilante bounced back, leaving Sonoma second in points based on fourth and third place drives on the tricky road course.
The No. 32’s podium effort saw Aquilante improve from sixth to third during the morning race on Sunday and spent laps hounding an Aston Martin for second place in the 25-car field.
“Miller (Utah) was definitely the low point of the season,” said Aquilante after Sunday’s race, referring to the previous event held a week prior at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah, where he failed to finish in the top five in either race. “Sonoma Raceway is a ton of fun, it reminds me of the tracks out east. The Mustang was pretty good over the bump, that has been where we are strong.”
It was Aquilante’s best finish since a third place drive at Mid-Ohio in round 11.
With three drivers having a shot at the title, five-time SCCA National Champion Aquilante can look forward to Laguna Seca, a track where he scored two SCCA National Championships in 2014.
Both Aquilante and teammate Kurt Rezzetano have a single victory in the Pirelli World Challenge season, and are each looking for their second victory as the series heads toward a quick conclusion in Monterey, California, in the finale weekend, Sept. 11-13.
Rezzetano’s Mustang followed Aquilante’s in race one with a fifth place finish, also matching his round 11 result at Mid-Ohio. Rezzetano and his No. 37 Ford Mustang Boss 302 also won the Cadillac Move of the Race Award for his pass of Ben Clucas in turn seven.
A day later, those two cars would tangle with Rezzetano failing to finish while the team’s third entry, Preston Calvert, logged 20th and 18th finishes, respectively, winning the Optima Batteries Best Start Award in Saturday’s race for his driving on lap one as well as VP Racing Fuels Hard Charger Award in the same race.
Calvert’s Porsche 911 GT3 Cup was at home on the 2.385-mile Sonoma road course, finishing seventh in both GT Cup races. Calvert is also involved in his own points fight, now tied for fifth in GT Cup standings with fellow competitor Mitch Landry.
Also on the team’s agenda, directly following Laguna Seca, will be a full on assault on the 2015 SCCA National Championship Runoffs at Daytona International Speedway.
TV broadcasts from Sonoma: On CBS Sports Network Sunday, September 6, 2 PM: GT/GTA, GT Cup presented by MOMO. Wednesday, September 9, Time 9 PM: GTS. All times listed Eastern. Times and dates subject to change.
Next up, the Phoenix World Challenge squad heads to Laguna Seca: Sept. 11-13
Team partners include Calvert Dynamics, Phoenix Performance, Ford Performance, Ron Davis Racing Radiators, Hawk Performance Brakes, Penske Racing Shocks, Brembo Brakes and Go Puck.