Aaron Povoledo notched a GTS-class podium, finishing third in Round 6 of the 2012 Pirelli World Challenge season in the No. 26 GSP Racing Total Lubricants/Dell Cherries Ford Mustang Boss 302S at the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. A day later, it wouldn’t be the same case, as early race contact hampered Povoledo’s hopes for a similar result.
For Povoledo and GSP, it was the second podium in two weekends, after finishing third at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in the Toronto native’s GSP Racing team debut in May.
“Detroit was a tough venue for everyone,” commented Team Owner Gino Lucci.
“It was the first time most of these guys had run there. We had a great first race, but during the second race, while battling for position we had an off. It wasn’t the result we were hoping for, but we are looking for a podium at Mosport, we should be very strong there as it is Aaron’s home track.”
The weekend opened on Friday around the streets of Detroit in heavy rain, and Povoledo showed the way, first in GTS class by an astounding 5.5 seconds, and just a hair off leading the practice overall against the much faster GT cars, all on Pirelli spec rain tires.
In qualifying Povoledo kept up the pace driving the 2.080-mile street circuit, qualifying second in the GTS class in the Total Lubricants/Dell Cherries Ford Mustang Boss 302S with a lap of 1:33.785, just six hundredths of a second off the pole position.
Making it even more impressive was the limited track time prior to qualifying, with one heavy wet session and one brief dry session – coupled with the fact it was just Povoledo’s second weekend in the GSP Racing No. 26, fielded by Capaldi Racing.
Between practice and qualifying Pirelli World Challenge drivers participated in the highly popular autograph session, giving away posters and hero cards to the fans in Detroit.
The GSP team also took the opportunity at the Detroit event to promote The Carroll Shelby Foundation, which is dedicated to providing financial support for children and medical professionals to help overcome life-threatening health issues. GSP is proactive in giving out brochures and decals, soliciting donations to the charity.
For race one of the weekend, Round 6 of the 2012 GT and GTS Pirelli World Challenge season, a massive shunt as the lights went off on the World Challenge field left the GSP team circling behind a safety car for most of the race.
With the carnage cleaned up, racing resumed again, but not for more than just a handful of laps with another incident ending the race under caution, with Povoledo bringing home his second straight podium, finishing third in the GTS class in front of an impressive Saturday crowd at Belle Isle.
With limited track time at Detroit, the lineup for race two was set on the fastest laps from race one, putting the No. 26 fourth on the grid for the standing start.
When the lights went out on the large World Challenge field, it seemed to be business as usual, with Povoledo mixing it up with other cars in the GTS class, including Camaros, Acuras, Kias, other Mustangs and more. As the opening laps unfolded, however, it wouldn’t be what the GSP team and the driver hoped for as car-to-car contact put the No. 26 several laps down, dashing any hopes for a strong finish around the 14-turn street circuit.
Next: Pirelli World Challenge heads north of the border for a doubleheader weekend at Mosport, in Bowmanville, Ontario, June 22-24.
When to Watch: NBC Sports Network, Saturday, July 7 at 5-7PM EST. Note, time and date subject to change. View live streaming on www.world challengeTV.com on the day of races and continuously on demand after races.
About GSP Racing: Brooklyn-based GSP Racing is owned by Gino Lucci, with the No. 26 Total Lubricants/ Dell Cherries Ford Mustang Boss 302S fielded by Capaldi Racing in the 2012 Pirelli World Challenge and driven by road racing ace Aaron Povoledo from Toronto, Ontario. Other team partners include the Carroll Shelby Foundation, Gear Up, Picture Cars East, Pravada Media, Ford GT Forum, and EuroKartRacing.com
On the Web: Like driver Aaron Povoledo on Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/povoledo - and the
GSP Racing team - http://www.facebook.com/GspRacing