Team Subaru Splashes to Repeat Mid-Ohio Race Win in Grand-Am KONI Challenge Race When the Ohio skies opened and a heavy thunderstorm blew through the area of the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course near Lexington on Sunday, the Subaru Road Racing Team...
Team Subaru Splashes to Repeat Mid-Ohio Race Win in Grand-Am KONI Challenge Race
When the Ohio skies opened and a heavy thunderstorm blew through the area of the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course near Lexington on Sunday, the Subaru Road Racing Team (SRRT), unlike the majority of its competitors, was prepared for the deep puddles and slick track conditions around the 2.4-mile road course. Using their Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system, SRRT claimed victory over eight other auto makers.
Chuck Hemmingson, Des Moines Ia., and co-driver Kris Skavnes, Sparta, N.J., finished the 2 ½-hour race 5.7 seconds ahead of their nearest competitor to score their first win of the Grand-Am KONI Challenge series season, and their second consecutive victory in the series at Mid-Ohio, both times in Subaru Legacy 2.5GT spec.B cars prepared by ICY/Phoenix Racing of Phoenixville, Pa. They topped a 45-car field, the third largest in the history of the series.
"This race truly showcased the advantages of our core technologies, especially our Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system excelling in both dry and wet conditions," said James Han, Motorsports Marketing Manager for Subaru of America, Inc.
Skavnes relieved Hemmingson in the cockpit with 77 minutes remaining, but pitted again shortly thereafter when the skies opened up. "The team made a perfect call to bring Kris back in and put deep-grooved rain tires on the car. The moment the rains became heavy, Kris made move after move and was quickly in the race lead. Last year at Mid-Ohio, we showed the Subaru Legacy was the best car on a dry track, and this year we re-demonstrated the car's versatility on a wet track at high speeds."
The team's second Subaru Legacy 2.5GT spec.B, qualified by David Rosenblum, Langhorne, Pa., and partnered with Andrew Aquilante of Phoenixville, Pa., finished in 12th place, after languishing even further down the field during Rosenblum's stint. "There were no mechanical issues with the car itself, and David drove consistent lap times," said Han. "During the car's first pit stop to put Andrew in the car, the crew popped the hood and discovered a loose electrical wire that was sapping some of the turbocharger's output. With that wire re-connected, the #141 climbed through the field. That's racing, sometimes."
Rosenblum and Joe Aquilante, Andrew's father, are partners in ICY / Phoenix Racing which prepares the Subaru Road Racing Team cars.
The Subaru win places them third in a list of nine manufacturers battling for the series Manufacturer Championship. Hemmingson and Skavnes remain second in the series Drivers' Championship points, but the seventh place finish by co-leaders Jamie Holtom and Eric Curran reduced the margin to seven points after four races.
The team's next race is July 4-5 at Watkins Glen International in upstate New York.