Mishap Costs Subaru Road Racing Team a Solid Finish; Team Looks to Next Race at 'The Glen' Phoenixville, PA -- May 26, 2009 -- As auto racing accidents go, this was relatively small, but the repercussions cost the Subaru Road Racing Team (SRRT)...
Mishap Costs Subaru Road Racing Team a Solid Finish; Team Looks to Next Race at 'The Glen'
Phoenixville, PA -- May 26, 2009 -- As auto racing accidents go, this was relatively small, but the repercussions cost the Subaru Road Racing Team (SRRT) valuable points toward their goal of the Manufacturer and Driver Championships in the Grand-Am KONI Sports Car Challenge series.
On lap 94 of last Saturday's 134-lap race on the 1.53-mile Lime Rock Park circuit near Lakeville, Conn., an over-anxious driver running behind SRRT driver Kristian Skavnes nudged Skavnes off the track while the Sparta, N.J., driver was running seventh in the Subaru Legacy 2.5GT spec.B race car.
"The accident occurred in turn three," noted team owner Joe Aquilante. "The impact broke an air valve stem on a wheel. Kris limped most of the nearly one-mile lap back to the pits with one tire flat which cost us a lap to the leader, and we lost another in the pit stop to change tires."
Andrew Aquilante, Chester Springs, Pa., had qualified the #111 Subaru 10th quickest. He had climbed to second place by the time he pitted on lap 72 for gas and to put Skavnes behind the wheel. The SRRT crew returned the car to the track in fifth spot.
"We raced 107 laps or one hour, 20 minutes into a two hour, 30 minute race when Kris got out of the car, so that was a good thing," noted Joe Aquilante. "We were confident we wouldn't have to pit for fuel again."
During the lap 95 pit stop that resulted from the crash, Joe Aquilante admittedly gambled on the weather for the rest of the race. He rolled "snake eyes."
"I made a snap decision to put full-tread rain tires on the car because it was already raining enough for Kris to be using the wipers. I felt if the track got wet enough, the rain tires, combined with Subaru's Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system, would have us in great shape," he said.
"It was a great plan," he added, "but the rain went south of the track, so we had to pit again to switch back to dry tires."
Skavnes and Aquilante earned a 13th place finish, placing them fourth in the Driver Championship points, and Subaru fifth in the all-important Manufacturer Championship battle.
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 KONI Challenge races in 2007 at Lime Rock and both 2007-08 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The car races in the Street Tuner class, the larger of the two classes in the series.
"Our result coming away from Lime Rock [Park] doesn't reflect the great effort made by the team and our car's competitive performance", noted James Han, motorsports marketing manager for Subaru of America, Inc. "We're looking forward to our next race at Watkins Glen on June 5."