Jade Buford has claimed victory in Saturday’s Pirelli World Challenge GTS round at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, giving Racers Edge Motorsports and SIN its first win of the season.
Buford dove down the inside of Ernie Francis Jr. in Turn 10, taking the lead with 27 minutes to go, and pulled away by 8.490 seconds at the line.
Buford, who started on the outside of the front row in his Racers Edge Motorsports SIN R1 GT4, fell back to third on the initial start but quickly started to put the pressure on Francis who had come from third on the grid to the race lead in just one lap in the No. 40 PF Racing Ford Mustang.
Coincidently, the Mustang chassis that Francis was driving in the car’s PWC debut this weekend is the same chassis that Buford and Scott Maxwell had driven to victory at Sebring in IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge competition in March.
After sizing up his old car for several laps, Buford saw his chance and made the daring move coming on to the pit straight.
Lawson Aschenbach secured a fifth consecutive podium result in the No. 10 Black Dog Speed Shop-run Chevrolet Camaro GT4 by finishing third, coming out on top of a fierce four way fight with Anthony Mantella in the No. 8 Mantella Racing KTM XBow GT4, the sister XBow of Martin Barkey, and the Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR of Rodrigo Baptista for Flying Lizard Motorsports.
Baptista relinquished a top-five run when he was hit and spun by the Barkey in the midst of that battle and came to pit road with under eight minutes remaining. He was unable to return to the race after the crew discovered damage to the suspension and finished 20th, while Barkey was assessed a drive-through penalty.
Barkey, the pole-sitter, lost the lead on the opening lap and was never a factor even before the penalty, sliding back to fourth after just three laps.
GTSA class honors went to the No. 4 GMG Racing McLaren 570s GT4 of George Kurtz, who held off Aristotle Balogh and Tony Gaples to take the top step of the podium.
Race 2 of the weekend for the GTS competitors is scheduled for 10:15 a.m. ET Sunday with coverage on Motor Trend on Demand and World-Challenge.com.
RESULTS: Race 1