Subaru Road Racing Qualifies 4th at Mid-Ohio
– Aquilante, Spaude Continue to Contend for Win –
Phoenixville, PA. – June 12, 2012 – Both Andrew Aquilante and Bret Spaude ran the Subaru Road Racing Team’s Subaru WRX STI race car as high as second place in last weekend’s GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course near Lexington, Ohio.
However, mid-way through the 75-lap race on Mid-Ohio’s 2.258-mile course configuration, and with Andrew Aquilante driving, an aftermarket rear suspension toe link failed. The six laps lost in the pits while a replacement part was pressed into service, resulted in an 18th place finish in the 24-car Grand Sport (GS) field.
“Our crew quickly identified the problem and replaced the component, and sent Andrew back, where he continued to run the same pace the race leaders were running, even though we had lost six laps in the pits,” said Joe Aquilante, owner of Phoenix Performance in Phoenixville, Pa., which prepares the team’s Subaru WRX STI race cars.
“The silver lining is that, as has been the case for the last three races, our Subaru Road Racing Team program has run up front against a competitive field of teams fielding cars from six different makes,” he added. “Here at Mid-Ohio, the fastest four cars qualified within one-tenth of a second of each other.”
Team driver Bret Spaude, of Bushnell, Fla., qualified the 4-door Subaru WRX STI fourth quickest out of 24 Grand Sports class entries, and immediately jumped to second place at the drop of the green flag. He was fifth place in the running order when the team pitted him under Full Course Yellow conditions on lap 26, turning the driving duties over to Andrew (AJ) Aquilante.
AJ took the green flag in 11th place, 3.087 seconds out of the lead, and ran as high as second place on lap 46, but the suspension component issue soon raised its head, dashing the hopes for a for the Subaru team’s second consecutive win.
“We pitted, the crew quickly fixed the suspension, we went back out and continued to lap the track as fast as the race leaders until the end of the race – except we were six laps down,” added Joe Aquilante. “We’ve been competitive for the last three races. Coming to a track and knowing your odds of winning are as good as the best of them, drives up our confidence level.”
James Han, motorsport marketing manager for Subaru of America, Inc., added, “This result was a difficult one to accept given our strong performances in qualifying and into the first half of the race. Our team will perform a post-race deep dive analysis as we always do and make the necessary adjustments before the next race. On the positive, both Bret and AJ ran strong and our pit stop strategy was on-target.”
The race-prepped #35 SRRT WRX STI is developed to compete against rival teams fielding cars producing over 400 horsepower.