SCC: Daytona: Subaru Road Racing Team preview
SRRT to Compete in Daytona Fresh From Florida 200, Round 1 of KONI Sports Car Challenge Series Buoyed by a successful early January pre-season testing session at Daytona International Speedway, the Subaru Road Racing Team (SRRT), which is a ...
SRRT to Compete in Daytona Fresh From Florida 200, Round 1 of KONI Sports Car Challenge Series
Buoyed by a successful early January pre-season testing session at Daytona International Speedway, the Subaru Road Racing Team (SRRT), which is a Subaru factory team effort, is prepared to capitalize on lessons learned in last year's Grand-Am KONI Sports Car Challenge season.
SRRT's racing season starts Friday afternoon on Daytona's combination oval track and infield road course.
Joe Aquilante, owner of the Phoenixville, Pa.-based team, has built the winning car for two of the team's six previous races at Daytona. The team has been methodically preparing their Subaru Legacy 2.5GT spec.B. cars for this year's Street Tuner class.
"Klevis [Prifti], Jason [Lang] and Matt [Smith] have been hard at work rebuilding the race cars since last year's season ended," Aquilante said. "The cars are looking good and working well. We were very pleased with our Daytona test results and are about as ready as we can be."
"This is a combined race with the faster Grand Sports cars," Aquilante noted, "so Daytona presents some unusual challenges from a strategic point of view. We also need to focus on taking advantage of what the track gives us: long laps and high-speed straightaways."
There are a few changes in the team for 2009, including a name change to Subaru Road Racing Team. In addition, SRRT is concentrating its energies on a single-car effort (car #111), as it attempts to further refine and develop the competitiveness of the Subaru Legacy platform.
"Campaigning a multi-car team can pose challenges," noted James Han, motorsports marketing manager for Subaru of America, Inc. "For 2009, we've decided to move forward with just the single race car and target podium finishes. The team made great strides in 2008, and our drivers led the drivers' championship points from June through early September."
Team drivers Kristian Skavnes and Andrew Aquilante return to pilot the #111 Subaru Legacy 2.5GT spec.B. Joe Aquilante explained: "Kristian's experience and coolness under fire has always served us well, and his tenacious driving late in the race is exciting to watch. Andrew brings a wealth of knowledge on data analysis and car setup, as well as being quick in the car. The two of them working as partners has proven to be a great combination. The bottom line is that their lap times are very similar, and their on-track performance is consistent and focused. We can count on them to put forth a great effort!"
The balance of the team staff has carried over from 2008, with crew chief Klevis Prifti leading the prep and setup efforts. During pit stops, team member Jason Lang manages refueling while Matt Smith shares tire-changing duties with Prifti. Also serving the team in pit stop capacities include Brad Hunter as jackman, Drew Spoto as fireman and Juston Lisk as data engineer and pit backup. Mark McCarthy and Theodore Prifti will alternate the hauler-driving duties to and from races.
David Rosenblum, Aquilante's team co-owner and a team driver for the last three years, is also refocusing his efforts, but away from the track and toward his primary business of clothier in Philadelphia, Pa. "David loves racing," notes Aquilante. "I am sure he will phone me frequently as we share ideas and the progress of the team, and sure he'll come visit the team on some race dates later in the year."
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