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June 30, 2011


DP WRX Journal -- Twelfth Drive (Eleventh Round Trip)

Travel dates: June 1-5

Purpose:


    To attend the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race at Watkins Glen International (Watkins Glen, New York) with Subaru Road Racing Team (SRRT)

    To attend the RallyCar Susquehannock Trail Rally (STPR) around Wellsboro, Pennsylvania, with Subaru Rally Team USA (SRT USA)


Start/Finish: Drive Performance headquarters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin


Distance:

    According to mapping services -- 1,807.3 miles

    Actual (with commute to/from hotel): 2,023.7 miles


Major routes:

    Wisconsin: Interstate 94

    Illinois: Interstates 94, 294

    Indiana: Interstates 94, 80

    Ohio: Interstates 80, 90

    Pennsylvania: Interstate 90, U.S. Highway 15

    New York: Interstates 90, 86; U.S. Highway 15


Fuel consumption: 72.3 gallons


Mileage: 28.0 mpg


This trip ended up to be a total immersion in Subaru Motorsports. Both SRRT and SRT USA were competing in racing events at venues less than 100 miles apart. SRRT's race in the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge took place on Friday, and SRT USA's rally around Wellsboro, Pennsylvania, ran Friday and Saturday. Planning for the weekend made provisions to attend both events.

However, I hadn't prepared for a couple of twists that put me in touch with both teams more intensively than usual. SRRT's practice in preparation for qualifying on Thursday revealed an engine problem that required replacement. As a result, the team missed qualifying and would have the start from the back of the GS Class field in Friday's race.


The Ride of my Life

We had some free time following qualifying. Subaru Motorsports Manager James Han asked if I'd be interested in a media ride in one of SRT USA's rally cars. Why even ask?! SRRT team member Bill Spaude (grandfather of driver Bret Spaude) and I both joined Han at the RallyCar/Susquehannock Trail Rally practice stage south of Wellsboro, near Morris, Pennsylvania.


I'll have observations about my ride with Dave Mirra in a future Journal entry. Stay tuned ...


The Rest of the Weekend


SRRT #35 had another problem in the morning practice on race day, so SRRT pulled out the backup car and entered it as #135.


Watkins Glen is a wonderful place for spectators, because you can witness high speeds as well as turns requiring good handling. The GRAND-AM series provides close racing. There were no surprises with #135. Drivers Bret Spaude and John Heinricy pulled up to mid-pack by the end of the two-and-a-half-hour race, which ended at dusk. SRRT's weekend proved a stalwart effort. (SRRT consultant Heinricy replaced Andrew Aquilante for two races while Aquilante healed from an accident he had suffered at another racing event.)


Find information about all of the SRRT's races in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge on SRRT's website.

Meanwhile, further south, SRT USA's David Higgins/Craig Drew led the rally going into the final Super Special -- the last stage at the Tioga County Fairgrounds, which is near Wellsboro. The lead was only 2.5 seconds ahead of Antoine L'Estage/Nathalie Richard in 2nd.


 


Contrary to previous years, the fairgrounds was full of mud instead of dust. One lane of the Super Special was so muddy that the organizers stopped the runs going through it. L'Estage/Richard were quicker through the Super Special, but not quite enough. Higgins/Drew won the rally by 1.3 seconds -- the winner determined by the shortest stage in the rally.


Performance Charts


SRRT Performance in the 2011 GRAND-AM

Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Grand Sport Class






















 



1 Transmission

2 Electrical

3 Car #135

 

SRT USA Performance in the     

2011 RallyCar National Championship     






















1 Engine

2 Accident


Notes from the Trip


My notes from this round trip are in the Drive Journal entry Change of Pace.


-- Ric Hawthorne

Drive Performance - Editor’s Blog

Event

Round 1: GRAND-AM 200

 

Daytona International Speedway

Round 2: Kia 200

 

Homestead Miami Speedway

Round 3: Barber 200

 

Barber Motorsports Park

Round 4: Bosch Engineering 200 at VIR

 

VIRginia International Raceway

Round 5: Memorial Day Classic

 

Lime Rock Park

Round 6:

Continental Tire 150

 

Watkins Glen International


Date/Location

28-Jan

Daytona Beach, FL

 

5-Mar

Homestead, FL

 

9-Apr

Leeds, AL

 

14-May

Alton, VA

 

28-May

Lakeville, CT

 

3-Jun

Watkins Glen, NY

 

 


Drivers

Andrew Aquilante/

Bret Spaude

 

Andrew Aquilante/

Bret Spaude

 

Andrew Aquilante/

Bret Spaude

 

Andrew Aquilante/

Bret Spaude

 

Andrew Aquilante/

Bret Spaude

 

Andrew Aquilante/

Bret Spaude

 

 


Finishing Position

13

 

 

DNF( 1)

 

 

DNF(2 )

 

 

11

 

 

11

 

 

183

 

 

 


Event

Round 1

Sno*Drift Rally

 

Round 2

100 Acre Wood

 

Round 3

Olympus Rally

 

Round 4

Oregon Trail Rally

 

Round 5

Susquehannock Trail Rally


Date/Location

January 28-29

Atlanta, MI

 

February 25-26

Salem, MO

 

30-Apr

Ocean Shores, WA

 

May 13-15

Portland, OR

 

June 3-4

Wellsboro, PA

 


Drivers

David Higgins

Dave

Mirra

David Higgins

Dave

Mirra

David Higgins

Dave

Mirra

David Higgins

Dave

Mirra

David Higgins

Dave

Mirra


Finishing Position

DNF1

2

 

2

3

 

1

4

 

1

DNF2

 

1

5

 


Driver Standings

2

 

4

2

 

3 (tie)

2

 

1

 

 

1

4