88 CHAMPIONSHIP ISSUE 2020 scca.comEVENT REPORT
checker. This time, it was Aquilantefacing down a trio of TA2 carsin McAllister, White, and Barkau.
But this restart was different.
“Andrew picked a differentspeed [for the secondrestart], and he picked rightbetween my first and second[gears],” McAllister said.
“Partially, some of that had
to do with how fast the pace car
Regardless of the randomness the year has thrust upon the world, the one fact
even 2020 couldn’t disrupt is
that Andrew Aquilante is a GT- 2
powerhouse. Although it did try.
“This has been an interesting
week – how about an interesting
year. And that was an interesting
race,” Aquilante said after claiming
this year’s GT- 2 Runoffs title in
his Phoenix Perf/Hoosier/Hawk
Chevrolet Corvette, bringing his
in-class National Championship
tally to five. “This week has been
a little bit rough, even with this
car. [There were] some issues
that crept up before we left [for
the Runoffs] and some kind of
MacGyver fixes that worked and
lasted, so that’s good news.”
That issue was an alternator.
But Aquilante’s more pressingconcern before the race waswhat would happen whenthe green flag flew.
“The start, and any restart
is my biggest concern,”
Aquilante admitted – and this
race in particular involved two
restarts. “As we saw on the
second start, I was planning
more for Mark [Boden], not
the TA2 cars sneaking ahead.”
The race’s first start began as
normal with Aquilante dropping
the hammer from the Tire Rack
Pole, but a full-course caution
came out after Brad McAllister
and Jonathan Start tangled on
lap three heading into Turn 3,
with tire-to-tire contact resulting
in Start shooting into the wall
in a gut-wrenching moment.
When the race resumed onlap eight, Aquilante led Boden,McAllister, Rhett Barkau, andCliff White. Hard on the gas,McAllister, pulled to the outsideof Aquilante while Boden dartedinside. White was coming fastfrom behind, too, but Aquilantefound enough room to slot inbehind McAllister’s TA2 Mustang,then he pulled to the outside torun side-by-side with McAllisterthrough Turn 1 while Bodentrailed with White to his left.
“[Aquilante] picked theperfect start speed for my firstgear, I was right in the powerband,” McAllister said of hisPeriodontal Associates FordMustang during that restart.
“I called it and was already on the
gas before [Aquilante and Boden],
so I was able to jump out and
I was right in that power band.”
counterattack stuck and he
reclaimed the lead. Unfortunately
for Boden, the rear of his Porsche
let go and he spun to the inside
wall, ultimately resulting in another
full-course caution a few laps later
as the tire barrier was repaired.
The clock struck zero underyellow, but race officials allowedtime for a two-lap shootout to the
RACE 22 | SUNDAY | OCT. 11, 2020 | 11: 15 A.M.
was going,” Aquilante added. “Onthe first restart, we were doing
45-50mph and on the secondrestart, we were probably doing
75mph – we were booking.”
McAllister couldn’t challenge
for the lead on that final restart,
and he also had a charging
White to contend with.
White, running third, was arelative unknown in the GT- 2
“ As we saw on the second
start, I was planning
more for Mark [Boden],
not the TA2 cars”