Sofronas & Baldwin Score In St. Pete
Pobst, whose first victory as a professional was on the Streets of St. Peterburg in the Volkswagen Cup, scored his 69th career Pirelli World Challenge podium, less than a car length behind Sofronas.
“I’ve had a great time racing the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg,” said Pobst. “This is where I won my first race, 28 years ago, and we had a shot at it today. We were in it in the K-PAX Volvo, it’s really good at coming off the corners. No car here puts a bigger stress on these Pirelli tires, and they held up great.
“I got a lot of help from my teammate Alex Figge, who won yesterday. He was quick this weekend, and I learned from his data and got better. I feel bad for Alex, he had a little problem today and something took him out. But it’s a long season, and I just tried to keep my nose clean and darn near got another win for the K-PAX Volvo.”
Defending Driver’s Champion Johnny O’Connell finished third in the No. 3 Cadillac Racing Cadillac CTS-V.R. O’Connell finished the race weekend with a pair of podiums, bringing his Pirelli World Challenge career total to 16 top-threes.
Baldwin, in the No. 73 Motul/StopTech/Invoice Prep Porsche Cayman S, doubled down in St. Petersburg, earning a .029-second win to follow up an opening-round victory a day earlier.
Sitting on the Motul pole, Baldwin battled with Andy Lee, of Colorado Springs, Colo., early in the race until Lee pulled the No. 20 Best IT Chevrolet Camaro into pit lane with mechanical issues. Baldwin was then able to hold off Lawson Aschenbach maintaining a gap to the second place driver through traffic on the street circuit.
“My guys took the car back and worked until midnight [last night] and made the car better,” Baldwin said. “I drove today one of the best setup race cars. We hit it dead on. I don’t care who would have come up and run with me, we would have beaten them. It was one of those days. These two wins go to the hard work of my crew from Gold Crest Motorsports and GTSport Racing, they give me a great car, and I’m just thrilled an honored to be able to drive it.”
Aschenbach, driving the No. 10 Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro, earned his 26th career Pirelli World Challenge top three in his second start in the GTS class.
“Hat’s off to everybody at Blackdog Speed Shop,” Aschenbach said. “They worked on this Chevy Camaro all winter long, and to be able to show up here, turn its first laps, and get two top fives, I’m ecstatic with that. We’ve just got to do a little bit of testing and sort it out a little bit. I had nothing for Baldwin today, that Cayman was just ridiculous. But I’m happy with the result, hopefully we can improve on this and get that top spot soon.”
The No. 42 Acura/HPD/RealTime Racing Acura TSX driven by Peter Cunningham finished in the third GTS position, making a pass around Kevin Gleason on lap 30. Cunningham, tallied his 114th top-three finish with Sunday’s result.
“The RealTime Acura ran smoothly and consistently the whole time,” Cunningham said. “We kept our nose clean and just tried to get through traffic. As it turned out, instead of finishing fourth there I finished third. Gleason got caught up in a little bit of traffic, and I had an opportunity.”