Subaru Road Racing Team Resolute in Quest for Championship - Aquilante, Skavnes share second spot in Drivers' Championship chase despite setback- A brush with the concrete barriers which line much of the 1.521-mile temporary racing circuit in...
Subaru Road Racing Team Resolute in Quest for Championship
- Aquilante, Skavnes share second spot in Drivers' Championship chase despite setback-
A brush with the concrete barriers which line much of the 1.521-mile temporary racing circuit in Trois-Rivieres, Quebec threw a major obstacle into the Subaru Road Racing Team's (SRRT) goal of winning the Grand-Am KONI Sports Car Challenge race and closing in on the Championship points leader.
Starting team driver Andrew Aquilante, during his 28-lap stint of the 71-lap race, steadily worked his way to second place from his sixth place start position. He was only two-tenths of a second from the lead when called into the pits for gas, tires, and a driver change to teammate Kristian Skavnes.
"Our pit stop was near flawless," said Joe Aquilante, whose Phoenix Performance company based in Phoenixville, Pa., prepares the team's #111 Subaru Legacy 2.5GT spec.B which the team races in the KONI series' hotly-contended Street Tuner class.
Skavnes returned to the track in fifth place, and was able to quickly turn the race's fastest lap to that point.
But on lap 35, while overtaking a slower car, Skavnes uncharacteristically brushed the wall with the driver's side of the car in the ultra-fast first turn, resulting in a flat left rear tire. The damage prompted a return into the pits where the SRRT crew furiously assessed and repaired the damage.
Afterwards, Skavnes was able to turn laps as fast as the race leaders when he returned to the track, but the pit stop had cost the Subaru three laps, a deficit which he was never able to make up. The #111 SRRT car eventually finished 13th.
"Kris is a quick driver as is Andrew," Joe Aquilante added. "We're fortunate to have two drivers who get on the pace quickly and also keep the big picture in mind. Kristian got out in the marbles going around another car, and these things can happen on street courses lined with concrete barriers. Had he done the same thing at Mid-Ohio or Watkins Glen or Daytona, most likely there would have been only minor consequences if any, but not here."
Despite the setback, Skavnes and Aquilante remain second in the Driver Championship points, 25 points away from the lead, and four ahead of their closest challenger. Two races remain in the season. They started the Trois-Rivieres weekend only 18 points behind.
"The team's goal to earn the championship became a bit more difficult after this round of the Grand-Am series," said James Han, motorsports marketing manager for Subaru of America, Inc. "But, I know that the drivers and crew are up to the challenge; plus we've consistently demonstrated the competitiveness of the Legacy 2.5GT spec.B."
The 10th of 11 races on the season will be Sept. 18 on the sprawling 4.486-mile Miller Motorsports Park road course west of Salt Lake City.