Subaru Road Racing Team Rises From Adversity

Subaru Road Racing Team (SRRT) drivers Bret Spaude of Bushnell, Fla., and Andrew Aquilante, Chester Springs, Pa., handed Subaru its third top 10 finish of the 2010 GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series with a 10th place finish in this past weekend’s Garden State 250 race at New Jersey Motorsports Park.
To score the team’s third top-10 finish of the season, the 22-year-old phenom drivers had to start last in the 25-car Grand Sports class field.
“Bret handed us a great fourth place qualifying lap,” said Phoenix Performance Inc., team owner Joe Aquilante. “Grand-Am’s post-qualifying inspection found a technical discrepancy. We corrected it but had to grid last in our Grand Sports class.”
Spaude started the race in the red 2010 Subaru Impreza WRX STI and climbed as high as seventh place in the 25-car Grand Sport field.
Passing as many as five cars in a single lap and turning laps within 1.5 seconds of the race leader, it took Spaude only 13 laps to pick up 10 positions. He was 10th by lap 24, despite having to hold station behind the pace car for eight of those 24 laps. In fact, a scant seven laps was the longest stretch of green flag racing in the first 24 laps.
The team’s first refueling/tire change stop, on lap 40, saw Spaude hand over the controls to teammate Andrew Aquilante. When the green flags again flew, Aquilante was in 19th place, but by lap 56 had charged hard to 12th ,  then pitted again for a gas tank refill that would get him to the end of the race, and was back to 12th place byy lap 71.
He hit the 10th spot on lap 76, only 25 seconds out of the race lead, and stayed there until the checkered flag flew on lap 87.
“Even though this is the third top 10 finish of the season for the Subaru Impreza, our mistake made AJ and Brett work too hard to get to that point,” said Joe Aquilante.
“We were happy to have such a good turnout of Subaru employees and owners over the weekend,” added James Han, Motorsports Marketing Manager for Subaru of America, Inc. They had an opportunity to witness our two team drivers do a stellar job gaining back positions with limited green flag laps, and doing so in a precise manner. None of the 23 laps run behind the safety car involved AJ or Bret. They did a very professional job picking their way through the field.”
To this point into the 10-race season, the first eight races have been held in a narrow strip of geography stretching East/West between Millville,  NJ and Lexington, OH., an economical point for East Coast and Midwest-based teams.
The next two races, however, are a month apart –  Aug. 13 in Trois-Rivieres, Quebec; followed by a haul to Salt Lake City, UT, haul for the Sept. 10-11 season finale.
The New Jersey race was televised on SPEED TV to air July 25 at 1pm ET.