Subaru Road Racing Team Prepared for Mid-Ohio "Three-peat" - Aquilante, Skavnes now third in Driver Championship points - Phoenixville, PA -- June 15, 2009 - In the eight-and-a-half-year history of the Grand-Am KONI Challenge road racing series,...
Subaru Road Racing Team Prepared for Mid-Ohio "Three-peat"
- Aquilante, Skavnes now third in Driver Championship points -
Phoenixville, PA -- June 15, 2009 - In the eight-and-a-half-year history of the Grand-Am KONI Challenge road racing series, only two teams have won three consecutive years at the same track.
Subaru Road Racing Team (SRRT) drivers Andrew Aquilante and Kristian Skavnes will be more than happy to become the third team with such documented dominance on a given track.
Their chance comes Sunday, June 21, at 1:30pm when the KONI Challenge's popular Street Tuner class takes the green flag and is scheduled to run for 2.5 hours on the famed Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course near Lexington, Oh.
Aquilante and Skavnes, who race the #111 Subaru Legacy 2.5GT spec.B race car, come to Mid-Ohio sitting third in the Driver Championship points. Subaru is one of nine car manufacturers represented in the series' Street Tuner class.
"Mid-Ohio, as a race track layout, is tailor-made to showcase the car's Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system, especially if we have a repeat of last year's race," said team owner Joe Aquilante.
The "last year's race" Aquilante references really began midway through the event when the SRRT crew performed its one and only pit stop of the race, after Andrew Aquilante gained almost 10 positions from his starting spot, and put Skavnes back onto the track on full-treaded rain tires and into the race lead.
Then the Ohio Summer skies blackened and opened up. Buckets of rain, to be exact.
"At that point, there was nobody who could catch or pass a car with all-wheel drive. We won by 5.7 seconds," said Aquilante. "Our team had 'the four Ts' -- tactics, tires, traction and talent. He was passing cars on the insides of turns while they fought for grip, and passing them going uphill. It was a rewarding show to watch."
The team's first Mid-Ohio win was in 2007. Former team driver Chuck Hemmingson led 10 laps and Skavnes led the final 30 to the checkered flag by 1.191 seconds, holding off the series' best front-wheel drive Acura.
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 also won the 2007 KONI Challenge race at Lime Rock, Conn.
Andrew Aquilante, Chester Springs, Pa., was part of the SRRT in 2008, but raced another of the team's cars. His first major race at Mid-Ohio, at age 17, was the 2004 SCCA Runoffs, but three months earlier, he won an SCCA National there, beating three of country's the top racers. He was a National Champion in a Touring 1 class Chevrolet Corvette by age 20.
"Our core Subaru technologies came to the fore again under race conditions two weeks ago at Watkins Glen," said James Han, motorsports marketing manager for Subaru of America. "Kris slid off the track in damp conditions, but our Symmetrical AWD system powered him through the gravel and grass, over the berms and right back onto the track. It was a thing of beauty to watch."