SRRT Shows Early Promise at VIR during Final Race of 2007 Season Phoenixville, PA October 15, 2007 - After a promising start to the final round of the 2007 Grand-Am KONI Challenge Series at Virginia International Raceway (VIR), the Subaru Road...
SRRT Shows Early Promise at VIR during Final Race of 2007 Season
Phoenixville, PA October 15, 2007 - After a promising start to the final round of the 2007 Grand-Am KONI Challenge Series at Virginia International Raceway (VIR), the Subaru Road Racing Team (SRRT) left the race track unfulfilled and hungry for more success. SRRT arrived at VIR to contest the 6-hour finale last weekend. After campaigning a successful limited schedule in the series, SRRT was hoping to earn a third victory in only its sixth race this season with their #111 and #141 Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT spec.B cars. The team is hopeful in returning in 2008 with a similiar if not expanded event schedule with Grand-Am.
Unlike most races of the season which run for 2.5 hours, the final round at VIR is even more of an endurance race as teams run their cars for 6 continuous hours on-track into and through the darkness with race start scheduled at 3PM EST and finishing at 9PM EST. Considered one of the most exciting and prestigious race tracks in the country, Virginia International Raceway is historically a coveted track by many road racers worldwide for its challenging corners, dramatic elevations, high straightaway speeds and demanding braking zones.
Teams were greeted on Saturday with dry and warm conditions for Qualifying. After the session, Kristian Skavnes (#111) had earned a 3rd place spot on the grid with a 2:11.661 while teammate Davy Jones (#141) was close behind, finding himself in 7th.
Against a starting grid of 36 total cars in the ST class, Davy Jones started the race in his #141 Legacy with the intention of running a double stint and passing off driving duties to teammate Dave Rosenblum; unfortunately, prior to his scheduled 2nd pit stop to fulfill the mandatory driver change, Jones' shifter suffered a terminal failure which kept him from shifting beyond 4th gear. The sister car (#111) ran higher up on the leader board with a seamless driver change from Skavnes and Chuck Hemmingson and then back to Skavnes after 4 hours of racing. On Lap 112, nearly 4.5 hours into the race, Kristian Skavnes dove into the pits while circulating in 4th and hunting down the car running in 3rd for an unscheduled stop to address cooked front brakes that proved unresponsive. After the extended stop, the team soon opted to park the #111 car due to continuing brake pad issues. Although the team was disappointed with the double DNFs, the cars proved very competitive against the field with the team collecting useful data and gaining greater insight into the Legacy platform under extended racing conditions.
Similar to last year, the Grand-Am race at VIR over the weekend was combined with a GT Live event which offered XDL stunt bike and drifting demonstrations along with a round of the Redline Time Attack series, drawing a broader than typical audience. Different this year was the Subaru sponsorship of GT Live offering local Subaru owners special parking, free go kart sessions, rides in the SRT USA Gp N STI with guest driver Matthew Johnson and rides with guest driver Tarzan Yamada in last year's SRRT Legacy race wagon. A big hit with Subaru owners and a draw with non-owners, all the sponsorship elements worked well to bring both Subaru owners and the import performance crowd plus traditional road racing enthusiasts an opportunity to witness and experience the full complement of Subaru Motorsports.