SRRT Takes 11th at VIR

Subaru Road Racing Team (SRRT) co-drivers Andrew Aquilante and Bret Spaude finished 11th in the 58-car field the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series on the 3.27-mile road course of Virginia International Raceway, near Danville, Va.  This outing served as only the team’s fourth competitive race event to date in the all-new 4-door model of the 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI.
“We had it pretty well sorted for this race” said SRRT owner Joe Aquilante. “Our Subaru Impreza ran strong during the race, like it has so many times with our previous generation race-prepared Imprezas. We are still early in our car development program, but the car, crew and drivers all performed well.
Spaude, of Bushnell, Fla., qualified the Subaru in a career-best fourth place in the 25-car Grand Sports class, with a lap average speed of 95.257 miles per hour on the winding 3.27-mile circuit, giving the team its best starting position all season.
“Bret found a magical place on the track to run interference relatively clean lap, but at the drop of the green flag, we were necessarily careful to avoid any of the potential accidents, and that caution dropped him back to between ninth and 15th place for the first part of the race,” Joe Aquilante said.
The Subaru Road racing team performed two flawless refueling and tire change stops on the car, but the yellow flags just kept coming. By the end of the race, more of the race had been un-contested behind the safety car, instead of at racing speed.
“There’s an old saying in racing that ‘Cautions breed more cautions’,” said Andrew Aquilante. “Too many times today we’d come out of a caution period of four or five laps behind the safety car, and on the first or second green flag lap, somebody else would cause a problem. You always pray they happen behind you and not ahead of you, which could easily involve you as an innocent bystander.  Unfortunately, I had some contact myself late in the race and that cost us a finish in the top ten”
“We placed 11th today against a large field of solid competitors,’ said, James Han, who manages the program for Subaru of America, Inc., “and we didn’t experience any mechanical challenges on a relatively new car. The development of our STI is on-course, and I’m confident that we can find ourselves a fixture in the top ten in future races.”