SCC: Laguna Seca: Subaru Road Racing Team preview

Subaru Road Racing Team Facing Heavy Travel, Work Schedule - Team focuses on adding to strong points tally - Currently sitting runner-up in the Drivers' Championship, Subaru Road Racing Team (SRRT) drivers Andrew Aquilante, Chester Springs,...

Subaru Road Racing Team Facing Heavy Travel, Work Schedule
- Team focuses on adding to strong points tally -

Currently sitting runner-up in the Drivers' Championship, Subaru Road Racing Team (SRRT) drivers Andrew Aquilante, Chester Springs, Pa., and Kristian Skavnes, Sparta, N.J., and team members head cross-country and westward to historic Laguna Seca Raceway near Monterey, Calif., for round 4 of the Grand-Am KONI Sports Car Challenge series which can represent a complex logistical challenge for East coast-based teams.

However, the Subaru Road Racing Team, including Aquilante and Skavnes sharing driving duties in their #111 Subaru Legacy 2.5GT spec.B sedan, are up to the task.

For Skavnes, facing a race at Laguna Seca is like seeing an old friend. Aquilante, the series' 21-year old phenom, who has qualified the #111 Subaru on the front row at all three races this season, it will open a new world.

Skavnes smiles broadly at his memories of a 1992 race there. "I qualified on the pole, set the race's fastest lap, and won it by taking the lead in Laguna Seca's famous 'corkscrew' turn," he recalled. "That's the kind of weekend any driver remembers, even 17 years later."

"Having Andrew with me makes me feel good. Our young man's on fire! I think I'm rubbing off on him," he laughed.

"I've been to Laguna," said Andrew Aquilante, "but I've never raced the track. I'm pretty confident that I can learn it quickly, though. Kristian raced our Legacy there two years ago, so with his input, we'll figure it out."

Joe Aquilante owns the Phoenixville, Pa.-based SRRT Phoenix outfit which prepares the team's Subaru Legacy 2.5GT spec.B race car and serves as factory race partner for Subaru of America, Inc. This is SRRT's third season racing the Subaru. The team won two KONI Challenge races in 2007 and one in 2008. The car races in the Street Tuner class, the larger of the two classes in the series, with nine different manufacturers represented.

"Mechanical aspects of almost every car in the Street-Tuner class give them what I'd call a 'local advantage' at certain tracks," said Joe Aquilante.

"Laguna Seca should be a good one for us because of the ability of the Subaru's turbocharged 2.5-liter boxer engine to pull us up the hill to the back side of the track," he said, "and for its symmetrical all-wheel drive system to keep the wheels planted coming out of the 'corkscrew' sequence, and exiting the last corner to climb the incline to the checkered flag."

"Smart driving will be important, too, Aquilante added. "We cannot afford the time to deal with a heavily-damaged car because as soon as the race is over, our hauler is aimed toward our home base near Philadelphia so we can complete a reprep for Friday the 22nd, when practice for our next race starts at Lime Rock, Connecticut -- 3000 miles from Monterey, California."

James Han, motorsports marketing manager for Subaru of America, Inc., is eager for the California race. "After three rounds, Kris and Andrew are only six points out of the Driver Championship points lead. Subaru is the only manufacturer in the Street Tuner class campaigning just a single car and yet we're currently third in Manufacturer Championship points against a slew of other brands. Also, Laguna Seca is a track that allows us to further demonstrate the performance benefits of our Subaru core technologies." he said.

Qualifying on the 2.238-mile Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca circuit is Friday at 8:30pm ET, with the race starting Saturday at 6pm ET.

The race is televised on a taped basis and will air on SPEED TV at 12 Noon ET on May 23.

-credit: srrt

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Kristian Skavnes , Joe Aquilante , Andrew Aquilante