BUFORD SETS THE PACE IN BOTH GTS PRACTICE ROUNDS FRIDAY AT CTMP
BOWMANVILLE, Ont., Canada – Defending GTS race winner Jade Buford of Nashville, Tenn., drove his No. 55 PF Racing Ford Mustang GT4 to the top position in both GTS Friday practice rounds at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park as a preliminary for the Castrol presents Victoria Day Speedfest.
Buford, an experienced rock-climbing star who has appeared on the “American Ninja Warrior” TV program, led the 23-car GTS field in both 40-minute practice sessions Friday at the famed 2.459-mile, 10-turn road course. Last year at CTMP, Buford captured both 50-minute GTS Sprint events in the SIN R1 GT4.
In the morning runs, Buford drove his Ford Mustang GT4 to a one minute, 24.059 second clocking with an average speed of 105.31 miles per hour to best reigning GTS champion Lawson Aschenbach of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., in the No. 1 Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R who recorded a 1:24.095 lap at 105.26 m.p.h.
In the afternoon round, Buford just nipped veteran Ian James of Paradise valley, Ariz., in the No. 50 Team Panoz Racing Panoz Avezzano GT with a 1:24.025 (105.35 m.p.h.) to James’ 1:24.041 (105.33 m.p.h.).
“It was a good day for us but Saturday looks like rain,” said Buford. “It’s an unusual scenario with the weather. I guess we’ll see what happens for Saturday morning qualifying now. We may just go off of the practice times from Friday depending on the rain situation. I’m very pleased with the car and the PF Racing has done a great job.”
Third and fourth in the afternoon for GTS practice was the Ranch 74 Robinson Racing pair of Shane Lewis of Jupiter, Fla., in the No. 72 Mercedes-AMG GT4, and Gar Robinson of San Antonio, Tex., in the No. 74 Mercedes-AMG GT4. Lewis turned a 1:24.197 (105.13 m.p.h.) with Robinson clocking at 1:24.478 (104.78 m.p.h.).
Leading the GTSA category Friday at CTMP was local favorite Fred Roberts of Toronto in the No. 89 JCR Motorsports Maserati Grand Turismo MC GT4 at 1:24.336 (104.96 m.p.h.) followed by Drew Staveley of Salt Lake City, Utah., in the No. 12 Ian Lacy Racing Ginetta G55 at 1:24.922 (104.24 m.p.h.) and Jeff Courtney of Milwaukee, Wis., in the No. 99 JCR Motorsports Maserati Grand Turismo MC GT4 at 1:25.086 (104.04 m.p.h.).
Saturday GTS action at CTMP gets underway at 10:40 a.m. EDT with qualifying followed by Race 1 (50-minutes) at 4:10 p.m. EDT.