Andrew Aquilante races Phoenix Performance Corvette to 6th in Sebring SCCA SPEED World Challenge GT Season Opener

- Picks up four positions in final five laps -

Phoenixville, PA – March 20, 2009

Andrew Aquilante passed half of the more-powerful race cars in front of him Friday on the world-famous Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway circuit to race the Phoenix Performance 2008 C6 Z51 Corvette to a sixth place finish in the season-opening race of the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT series.

Andrew qualified his Corvette 14th quickest in the 21-car field, slashed his way to 10th by lap four, eighth by lap 17, and seventh on a lap 18 re-start after a full-course yellow period, which he held to the finish on lap 20. The final position, to sixth, was literally handed to him long after the race when a competitor who finished ahead of him was disqualified for technical infractions.

Aquilante, 21, of Phoenixville, Pa., an experienced Corvette racer, drove a mechanically-different Phoenix Performance Z51 Corvette to the Touring 1 Class National Championship at the 2007 SCCA Runoffs, a drive which earned him the SCCA President’s Cup. He has also raced Corvettes in the Grand American Rolex GT series and, since 2004, in SCCA National Club Racing.

“This was definitely an intense race in an exciting series,” Andrew said. “The best description I can think of is ‘scattered chaos.’ There were mini-battles breaking out all around the track. I learned, too, that when the race is only 75 miles long, you have to race from start-to-finish. And if you’re going to try to get past cars with 50 more horsepower, you’ll work for it!”

“Andrew did a superb job,” said team owner Joe Aquilante. “He is racing for the first time in a very professional series against some championship drivers who, literally, have been competing in it since Andrew was three years old.

“Our Corvette is prepared to different rules than the Corvette that Eric Curran drove to second place,” Aquilante explained. “His car is two miles per hour faster for an average speed of a lap at Sebring. That’s a small number, but those last two miles per hour are very expensive.

“The new rules instituted by the Sports Car Club of America allow us to be competitive using a combination of lighter weight and less-expensive components, on a smaller budget. They achieved their goal. We’re happy and we hope to be back.” Aquilante also applauded the host SCCA officials. “Throughout the weekend, I was very impressed with the professionalism, helpfulness and courtesy shown by all the SCCA people and World Challenge-Vision staff.”

“We struggled all week to get the car to handle exactly the way we wanted it to, and finally got to the point where Andrew felt there was nothing else left in it. And much to Andrew’s surprise, he found he could race with a good part of the field,” he concluded.

The race was televised by SPEED TV and will air March 31 at 2pm, April 2 at 4am and April 15 at 2pm. All times are Eastern.

Sponsors for the Phoenix Performance Z51 Corvette include Rockland Standard Gear, Automotive Racing Products, Hawk Brakes, Quarter Master, Ron Davis Radiators and VAC Motorsports.

About Phoenix Performance
Phoenix Performance, Inc. is owned and managed by Joe Aquilante and is located in a 32,000 sq. ft. facility in Phoenixville, Pa., 40 miles west of Philadelphia, PA. Team driver Andrew Aquilante races a Subaru Impreza WRX in the SCCA SPEED World Challenge Touring series. Andrew can be reached by email at and on his website, For more information about the team and the cars, call Joe Aquilante at (610) 482-0141, by email at, or visit –

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