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2nd Place for Tony Buffomante in Debut at the Beach!

April 13, 2014
2nd Place for Tony Buffomante in Debut at the Beach!

Long Beach, CA – Few events in North American Sports Car Racing are as historic as the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach in the streets of Long Beach, California.  As the Pirelli World Challenge headed to round two at this classic American street circuit, Tony Buffomante and the Capaldi Racing team knew backing-up their strong run in St. Pete would be a difficult task with the limited available track time and the fact that Tony had never been to the track before.

After very limited practice, Buffomante put the #33 Boss 302 Mustang outside of row 2, for his second top 5 qualifying performance in as many outings, proving that the St. Pete results were no fluke.  However, with 50+ entries and a narrow winding front straight to hold a standing start, all of the competitors were anticipating some serious action when the field got to Turn 1.

At the start of the race, Tony launched his Mustang immediately into 2nd place, over-taking pole-sitter and fellow Mustang Driver, Jack Roush Jr. and the Camaro of Lawson Aschenbach as the cars thundered down Lake Shore drive.  Behind Buffomante, the competitors’ fears were realized as there was a multi-car accident involving several GTS cars resulting in an extended full course caution period.

After the track was cleared, the green flag flew again with only the Kia of Nic Jonsson standing between Tony and his first victory in the Pirelli World challenge in only his second start.  As the race went on, Jack Roush Jr. applied pressure to the #33 Mustang; however he was unable to make a move and Buffomante held on to his second position.  Jonsson slowly drew away from the field and gave the Kia brand a victory in its home race.  On the final lap, Mark Wilkins in the second of the Kia entries was able to get around Roush for the final step on the podium.

After two rounds in the Pirelli World Challenge, Tony Buffomante has launched Ford into the manufacturers points lead on the strength of his 4th at St. Pete and his first PWC podium finish at the Beach.

“What an amazing day for the #33 Ford Mustang!”, Buffomante said post-race.  “To come to Long Beach and score our first podium and to be the highest finishing Ford yet again is an amazing feeling!  We didn’t think the street circuits would suit us coming into the season, mainly because I’ve never been to any of them, but the Boss 302 certainly makes it easy to get around these narrow concrete canyons.  I can’t wait to see what we do when we get to a natural terrain road course.  Hopefully we can continue to learn and progress as a team; and build on this impressive start to the season.”