Next up for the team is a double national at Palm Beach International Raceway on Jan. 12 and 13. Both Nocerine and Aquilante will be competing there also in their Mustangs in Touring 1 and Touring 2.
The Phoenix Performance Mustangs traveled to Sebring Florida recently for the 2013 inaugural SCCA Majors race event and continued their winning ways that began at the SCCA national runoffs in September.
Driving a Mustang for the first time, Al Nocerine, of Wilkes Barre, Pa., stepped into the Phoenix Performance Touring 2 class Mustang GT and quickly found the pace, qualifying on the pole for both the Saturday and Sunday races. At the start of each race, Nocerine pulled away and established himself in front, setting new lap records each day.
“This is the first time I have driven a Mustang in competition, and it was great. Handling and brakes were perfect, especially at a tough fast track like Sebring” Nocerine noted. “The power of the engine is just phenomenal and on the long straights it pulled like a freight train. Ford has done an outstanding job developing this car and Phoenix had it set up perfect for me.”
Nocerine, a 10-year veteran of SCCA national Club racing previously had driven Chevrolet Camaros. So how did he compare the Mustang GT to the Chevy? “It’s night and day. The Ford is powerful and poised in just about every situation,” Nocerine said. “It handles the rough surfaces at Sebring with no drama and is a dream to drive.”
On Sunday, Nocerine was joined in the race by team owner Joe Aquilante in the team’s Touring 1 class Boss 302 Mustang. Starting from dead last due to missing qualifying while at GRAND-AM test days at Daytona, Aquilante quickly moved to the front of the T-1 class by the end of the first lap and never looked back.
“This was my first race driving a Mustang and the first time driving a Boss 302” Aquilante said. “It was a blast to drive and easy to work through traffic. This car is balanced with the Ford racing suspension and the engine pulls smooth and powerful all the way to redline. The brakes are outstanding. What a car.”