Subaru Road Racing Team Starts Season Strong - Drivers, team lead 4 championship points charts - Phoenixville, PA -- April 23, 2009 -- With two races done and nine to go in the Grand-Am KONI Sports Car Challenge, the Subaru Road Racing Team...
Subaru Road Racing Team Starts Season Strong
- Drivers, team lead 4 championship points charts -
Phoenixville, PA -- April 23, 2009 -- With two races done and nine to go in the Grand-Am KONI Sports Car Challenge, the Subaru Road Racing Team (SRRT) and its drivers find themselves at, or near, the top of the points charts in four of seven points and performance charts tallied by Grand-Am Road Racing, sanctioning body for the popular racing series.
After qualifying on the hard-to-achieve pole at both Daytona and Homestead-Miami, SRRT teammates Andrew Aquilante, Chester Springs, Pa., and Kristian Skavnes, Sparta, N.J., drove the team's Subaru Legacy 2.5GT spec.B to second place Daytona and fifth at Homestead.
Points from those steady performances make Skavnes and Aquilante half of a four-way tie for the lead in the coveted Drivers Championship. Their finishes are more consistent than the drivers from another team with whom they share the lead.
Aquilante, 21, has qualified his Subaru on the pole at both races held to date. He led all 29 laps of his opening stint at Daytona, and eight laps at Homestead-Miami, placing him second in laps led. Skavnes, the team's "closer," led two laps at Daytona.
The SRRT Phoenix team is also tied for first on the Team Points chart for the Street Tuner class -- the larger of the two classes in the KONI Challenge series, in terms of average participating cars and manufacturers; while Andrew and the team lead two "Index" categories based on complex calculations of performance parameters.
Nine different manufacturer badges have adorned what has been an average of 31 starting cars in the Street Tuner class for first two races. It is, in fact, the largest participatory class for both Grand-Am series -- the KONI Challenge and the Rolex Sports Car Series.
Mazda, for example, has averaged 9.5 cars per race, Honda 5.5.
And Subaru? One car.
Joe Aquilante owns of the Phoenixville, Pa.-based Phoenix Racing team which builds the team's Subaru Legacy 2.5GT spec.B race car and serves as factory race partner for Subaru of America, Inc.
"We raced two cars at each event last year, won one race last year and two in 2007," said Aquilante. "Two cars are pretty common for most teams in the series, but winning races in a series this competitive is not that common. This year we're focusing on one car and seeing the positive results of that focus.
"We're only two races into a long season and our finishes are a second and a fifth. That consistency in our performance will help us hold our points leads as the season goes along," he added.
This is the third season for the Subaru Road Racing Team, with its Subaru Legacy in the Street Tuner class of the KONI Sports Car Challenge series, noted said James Han, motorsports marketing manager for Subaru of America, Inc.
"The Subaru symmetrical all-wheel drive system, turbocharged 2.5 liter boxer engine configuration, and performance-oriented Legacy platform are all working in the favor of the SRRT," said Han.
After two races, Subaru ranks third of nine manufacturers racing in the Street Tuner class this year, only seven points from the lead.
Grand-Am also computes several other lesser-known, but very informative, driver/team performance points charts called "Indexes."
The Driver Performance Index, for example, which takes even Grand-Am six lines of type to explain, including a five-line sentence, uses a points scale which awards points for leading a lap, leading the most laps in a race, qualifying on the pole, what day of the week the first day of Summer falls on, plus bonus points for eating a certified organic meal within the last 24 hours, and living near the home of a MLB World Championship baseball team.
"Think of it as a baseball batting average with 1.0 as perfect," suggested Joe Aquilante.
On that calculation, Andrew Aquilante's 0.822 score leads all Street Tuner class drivers with Kristian Skavnes right behind at 0.795. SRRT also leads the Team Performance Index at 0.826
Aquilante leads Skavnes 0.822 to 0.795 in the Driver Performance Index for their class. Among its six criteria are finish position, leading laps, and fastest qualifier.
The team's next race is May 1-3 at New Jersey Motorsports Park near Millville, N.J., the closest race to home for the SRRT drivers, crew and sponsor, and a track where Subaru is a promotional partner.