Aquilante Debuts Subaru Impreza WRX in Opening Round of SCCA World Challenge Series -Achieves Top 10 Finish at Sebring International Raceway- Championship racer Andrew Aquilante and Phoenix Performance gave the professional road racing debut...
Aquilante Debuts Subaru Impreza WRX in Opening Round of SCCA World Challenge Series
-Achieves Top 10 Finish at Sebring International Raceway-
Championship racer Andrew Aquilante and Phoenix Performance gave the professional road racing debut of the 2009 Subaru Impreza WRX a solid eighth place finish in today's SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge Touring Class season opener.
The one-hour race was held on the world-famous 3.7-mile Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway circuit in central Florida.
Phoenix Performance prepared the Subaru Impreza WRX to a new rules package created by SCCA Pro Racing for entrants of production-based cars, making provisions for nearly showroom stock units such as the Subaru Impreza WRX to compete with highly-modified cars which have been a hallmark of the series.
Phoenixville's Andrew Aquilante, the SCCA's 2007 Touring 1 class National Champion and winner of the Club's highest honor -- the President's Cup - qualified the car 11th quickest.
"The Subaru All-Wheel Drive System -- and we have the only AWD car in the race -- allowed me to leapfrog to sixth place right from the start of the race," said Andrew. "The standing start format, which only the World Challenge series uses, is really critical, so we practiced it a couple times back home at the race shop."
As the race progressed, Aquilante settled in 10th place. He passed five-time series champion Peter Cunningham's new Acura TL for eighth spot on the 11th lap. When the checkered flag flew, Andrew was 7.6 seconds ahead of Cunningham, and only 4/10ths of a second behind another five-time champion, Michael Galati in a factory-supported Mazda 6.
Joe Aquilante, whose company, Phoenix Performance, prepared the Subaru Impreza WRX, noted that the car stayed very consistent throughout the race. "It is taking us some time to get accustomed to the new rules package and the tires that are mandated for use in this series, compared to other brands in other series. They're just different enough that an adjustment period is required."
"I'm really pleased with the way everything went, though," he added. "We learned a lot this weekend about setting up the car and getting the most out of the tires."
The race was televised by SPEED TV for airing March 31 at 1pm, April 2 at 3am, and April 15 at 1pm. All times are Eastern.