Altamonte Springs, FL – Grand-Am Road Racing veteran and P1 Groupe driver Bret Spaude entered into the gates of Daytona International Speedway this past week with bittersweet emotions.

While the BMW Performance 200 would be not Spaude’s last GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Series event, it will be the last one in the well-known Subaru.

#35 Subaru Road Racing Team Subaru WRX-STI: Andrew Aquilante, Bret Spaude
#35 Subaru Road Racing Team Subaru WRX-STI: Andrew Aquilante, Bret Spaude

Photo by: Covy Moore

It’s safe to say that Subaru as a car manufacture was not present on Friday with #35 Subaru WRX-STI not being wrapped in its traditional Subaru vinyl but instead with Phoenix Racing and TS Racing logos.

Drivers and crew suits also did not show the name Subaru, as we have been accustomed to seeing. With the next step in question, Spaude still made it perfectly clear that he was ready to race hard in his #35 just as he has done since his first event with the team.

Spaude would take the green flag from the fourteenth position, and he immediately made himself a fixture within the top quarter of the field.

The Florida native made sure he got every last ounce he had out of the “STI” before his stint was completed. He would crack the Top-10 before handing the car off to co-driver Andrew Aquilante for the remainder of the event.

Before Spaude’s stint was over however, the transmission began to fail only allowing for first, second, and third gears to be used along with reverse. Mid-way through Aquilante’s stint, the transmission gave way ending the team’s hope for a top finish swan song.

“It was just a really unfortunate day,” Spaude said. “We had a strategy that could have helped us to a top finish, but we didn’t end up making it far enough to find out.

The transmission blew out and we only had gears one through three and reverse. It’s a piece we have broken before but quite frankly, this shouldn’t have happened. This is a brand new piece so I don’t know.

Everyone will regroup and while this is probably the last event for a while in a Subaru, it doesn’t mean we won’t show up next time with something different!”

Check out Spaude and the rest of the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Series, as the BMW Performance 200 will be broadcasted on February 2nd at 4:00 PM ET on SPEED.

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