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Pirelli GT4 America

Buford Dominates St. Pete Race 2; Calvert Snatches Am Win

Jade Buford claims lights-to-flag win at St. Pete ahead of thrilling battles behind…

Photo: Brian Cleary/SRO America

Jade Buford dominated Sunday’s 50-minute Pirelli GT4 America Sprint race on the streets of St. Pete.

Buford, driving the No. 41 PF Racing Ford Mustang GT4, started from pole after setting the fastest lap during Saturday’s race and never relinquished his lead from a textbook start.

The fourth-place driver in last year’s championship took the checkered flag 10.444 seconds ahead of Gar Robinson in the No. 74 Robinson Racing Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R to make amends for an error that cost him victory in Race 1.

Robinson and his teammate Shane Lewis both got past Spencer Pumpelly’s ailing Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport in the final stages of a thrilling scrap for second.

This double move from the Camaros came after Robinson was forced to hand back second place for barging past Pumpelly into turn 1 with 10 minutes to go.

The Porsche showed an effective pace at the start but was gradually reeled in by the Robinson Chevrolets which appeared stronger over the full course of the race.

Saturday winner Ian James also featured in the battle for second early on but his Panoz Avezzano GT was gobbled up by Pumpelly, Robinson and Lewis in the second half of the race.  

James, who was dealing with a suspected mechanical issue, finished 30 seconds down the road from Buford but ended up comfortably clear of Michael Cooper, who saw his fifth place disappear when his McLaren 570S GT4 stopped on the final lap.

Calvert’s Panoz Takes Last-Gasp Am Win

Preston Calvert made a last-lap pass to snatch victory from long-time leader Jarett Andretti in the GT4 Sprint Am class.

Calvert, driving the No. 51 Panoz, lunged underneath Andretti into turn 1 and was followed through by the BMW M4 GT4 of Marko Radisic.

Andretti had been in charge of the race since taking the lead from fellow McLaren entrant Tony Gaples on the first lap, but his lead came increasingly under threat at the clock wound down.

A train of five cars created a thrilling conclusion, with Calvert jumping ahead of Radisic when the BMW driver went wide making a pass attempt on Andretti, who ended up third.

Alan Brynjolfsson and Tony Gaples were also a part of this multi-car chase but were each spun around in the closing stages to finish fourth and eighth respectively.

RESULTS: Race 2

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365 and e-racing365, with a focus on the FIA World Endurance Championship and various electric racing series.

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