Aquilante Leads Phoenix at COTA, Leaves with Two Podiums and Points Session

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March 11, 2015 / written by Phoenix Performance

Austin, TX — Andrew Aquilante is in contention for the Pirelli World Challenge GTS title for Phoenix American Motorsports after second and third place finishes in the season opening rounds at the Circuit of the Americas this past weekend. Teammate Kurt Rezzetano brought home fourth and eighth place finishes in a matching Calvert Dynamics Ford Mustang Boss 302, while Preston Calvert also ran in GTS and debuted the team’s new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup entry.

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Phoenix Performance is a Northeast premier 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 built over 30 SCCA Runoff-winning cars. For 2015, Phoenix American Motorsports plans to run a multi-car, multi-class effort in the Pirelli World Challenge.

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Aquilante’s No. 32 got the better of fellow Mustang racer Dean Martin in a race-long battle on Saturday. Sunday’s race was converted to a rolling start due to rain, with Aquilante briefly leading the field before coming home third in a solid effort in tricky conditions.

After his second place finish Aquliante said: “I was a little bit concerned on the start as I haven't done a standing start for a couple of years. But it ended up going well. I just hung in there and Dean wore his tires down a bit and it allowed me to get by him. I tried to chase after Kris (Wilson) but he kind of lit the afterburner and that was that."

Rezzetano held off the Kia of Ben Clucas in the opening round before transmission problems on Sunday restricted his No. 37 to a eighth place result.

Calvert, making his GTS debut in the No. 35 Ford Mustang Boss 302, finished 17th on Saturday with a fuel issue, while a rough day on Sunday saw a 19th place finish.

Calvert finished ninth in his GT Cup presented by Momo debut in the No. 77 Porsche, and moved up two spots a day later in the rain to finish seventh. That result wasn’t without drama, however, as Calvert was running in fifth place, but became an innocent bystander to another car failing to negotiate turn one. That incident collected Calvert’s entry, with the No. 77 driver still able to recover for a seventh place run.

The weekend also marked the debut of the team’s new Ford Mustang V6 Touring Car (TC) entry. Aquilante was in the picture for a podium in the first TC race of the weekend before a suspension problem ended his day. With a fixed suspension, a few hours later he was able to finish fifth in a hard-fought 15-lap sprint and set the fastest lap of the race, giving him the pole for the final race of the weekend on Sunday.

The Chester Springs, Pennsylvania native took home two awards, with the Invisible Glass Clean Pass of the Race in both Saturday TC rounds.

Starting from the pole on Sunday following his GTS podium, Aquilante briefly led the TC race, finishing eighth and collecting valuable Championship points.

CBS Sports Network will show all rounds from the weekend starting on Saturday, March 14 at 11am when the GT/GTA/GT Cup and GTS races will air followed by TC races on Wednesday at 8pm. All times listed are Eastern.

Next up, the team’s four car assault of three Mustangs and a Porsche heads to the streets of St. Petersburg, March 27-29. The next TC rounds take place north of the border at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, May 15-17.

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