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Millville: Phoenix Performance preview

Aquilante Looks for 'Home Field' Advantage - Subaru Impreza WRX: Round 2 - SCCA World Challenge Touring Car - Hot on the heels of a strong debut in the opening race of the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge Touring Car season, championship...

Aquilante Looks for 'Home Field' Advantage
- Subaru Impreza WRX: Round 2 - SCCA World Challenge Touring Car -

Hot on the heels of a strong debut in the opening race of the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge Touring Car season, championship sports car racer Andrew Aquilante and Phoenix Performance are hoping they'll find the generosity of something of a home town advantage for Saturday's race at New Jersey Motorsports Park near Millville, NJ.

"The Phoenix Performance race shop is only 75 miles from the track," said team owner Joe Aquilante. "Subaru of America, our factory partner and corporate sponsor, and now a promotional partner at New Jersey Motorsports Park, is only 37 miles away, in Cherry Hill. If knowing we're close to home gives us an increased comfort level this weekend, we'll take it."

Phoenix Performance prepared the Subaru Impreza WRX to a new rules package created by SCCA Pro Racing to encourage entrants of production-based cars to compete in the World Challenge series. The new rules make provisions for nearly showroom stock units such as the Phoenix Performance Subaru Impreza WRX to compete with highly-modified cars which have been a hallmark of the series.

Andrew Aquilante, Chester Springs, Pa., the SCCA's 2007 Touring 1 class National Champion and winner of the Club's President's Cup, will make his second outing in the blood red Subaru Impreza.

The first race of the season was at Sebring, Fla., a faster circuit than the New Jersey-based track's configuration.

"Whether any one track is faster or slower than another is only a numerical comparison," said Andrew, "but at Sebring, our fastest race lap was only 0.73 miles per hour slower than the fastest car in the race -- a team with many years experience and championships.

"That's encouraging," he added. "Now that we've had six weeks to get to better know the Subaru Impreza WRX, we feel we'll be even closer to the front this time."

The Impreza's engine, which is allowed 17.5 p.s.i. turbocharger boost, produces 265 horsepower in stock configuration. The Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive System -- it is the only AWD car in the race -- "allows me to get a better start than some of my competitors," Andrew added. "That's important because the World Challenge series uses a standing start. We even practice doing them at the race shop."

This weekend's races at New Jersey Motorsports Park are of special interest to guests from Subaru of America's corporate headquarters in Cherry Hill, NJ, and to James Han, motorsports marketing manager for Subaru as the company also serves as official automobile and pace car for NJMP.

"We're going to have two similar Subaru race units prepared by Phoenix Performance in two races this weekend in the form of a Legacy 2.5GT spec.B and an Impreza WRX," said Han. "Between the two cars, I believe the attending Subaru associates and corporate guests are going to enjoy some exciting racing and get a first-hand perspective in how competitively our cars can perform in racing configurations that aren't far off from showroom stock. The relevance to our production units is a major reason we're here."

Qualifying will be Friday at 5:55pm ET, and the one-hour race Saturday at 10:30am.

-credit: pp

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Series PWC
Drivers Joe Aquilante , Andrew Aquilante