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Aquilante, Subaru to Podium at Watkins Glen

- Second straight Winners’ Circle appearance for Phoenix Performance team -

- Aquilante, Skavnes climb to second in Driver Championship points -

Taking the green flag in fifth place, the Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system in Aquilante’s Subaru Impreza WRX helped vault him to fourth place, but he wisely chose discretion rather than valor a few turns later, electing to avoid possible contact with the early-chargers.

By the fifth lap, Andrew was able to get out of traffic and begin his chase of the leaders.

Staying focused on the goal, he powered his way into a solid fourth on the eighth lap, out-braking BMW driver James Clay into the “bus stop” turn on the 3.4-mile, 11-turn road course.

Three laps later and now clear of traffic, he set the race’s fastest lap, a 96.709mph average, a lap which was even faster than the pole-sitter’s qualifying speed.

Andrew and his all-wheel drive Subaru then hunkered down and set off to catch and pass second place runner Charles Espenlaub.

On the last lap, Aquilante passed Espenlaub, but, “The engine bobbled for just a moment, so I dropped back to third to protect it,” he said.

His moves, however, earned him the race’s Sunoco Hard Charger and Debaufre Fastest Lap of the Race awards.

“That was a heck of a drive,” said Joe Aquilante, whose Phoenix Performance team prepares the Subaru Road Racing Team entry. “Starting with that fastest race lap, he really turned it up, and still kept the car under him. The Subaru keeps on developing; every race we learn more ways to improve on what’s already a great performance package, and how to work with the Toyo tires we’re required to use.

“We have a great crew from Phoenix Performance to give us a good car at each race,” Aquilante added, “but a lot of credit for that is the great package from Subaru that we start with, and the help we receive from our many sponsors.”

James Han, manager of motorsports marketing for Subaru of America, Inc., added, “I’m not surprised with this result. The team did its homework, and this is an achievement that reflects the effort they’ve made. With the series as competitive as this, I’m glad to see the Impreza WRX place this well among a field of marketplace competitors.

“The Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and ‘boxer’ engine technology really came to the fore to help Andrew reach the podium. All-in-all, a really strong effort and good result; it bodes well for the remaining races we plan to contest this year,” Han said.

The SPEED TV broadcast of the Watkins Glen race will air July 22 at 2pm ET.

The team had planned to also race a Subaru Legacy 2.5GT spec.B performance sedan at Watkins Glen in the new Touring Car 2 class, but the car was damaged in a practice session crash; its debut was delayed until another weekend.

The next race will be July 24-26 at the Autobahn Country Club near Joliet, Ill.

Sponsors for the Phoenix Performance Subaru Impreza WRX include Rockland Standard Gear, Automotive Racing Products, Hawk Brakes, VAC Motorsports, Quarter Master, Ecutek, Racing Radios, Lista, Rotary Lifts, Cusco, Carbonetic, Mac Tools, Hella, Perrin, and Vedalo HD.

About Phoenix Performance
Located in Phoenixville, Pa, Phoenix Performance is owned by Joe Aquilante. Based in a 32,000 sq. ft. race shop 35 miles west of downtown Philadelphia. Phoenix Performance-prepared cars have won 18 SCCA National Championships since 1999 - including three wins per year for the past four years, two professional series Manufacturer Championship, and the GM Motorsports Winner’s Circle Award. For more information, call 610-482-0141 or visit and

Return to Phoenix in the News

Phoenixville, PA – July 4, 2009

Andrew Aquilante, Chester Springs, Pa., today raced the Phoenix Performance Subaru Impreza WRX to a third place finish in the SCCA SPEED World Challenge Touring Car series event on the world-famous Watkins Glen International circuit near Watkins Glen, N.Y.

Aquilante, 21, came within a mechanical “burp” of finishing second in the race.