On January 24th the 2014 IMSA Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge season kicked off at Daytona International Speedway. Enjoy a slideshow from the weekend.
The Phoenix American Motorsports Team has announced its 2014 entry and driver line up in the IMSA Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series. Campaigning two Grand Sport (GS) Class Boss 302 Ford Mustangs, the team will compete in the full 12 race IMSA Continental series with Andrew Aquilante and Kurt Rezzetano driving the #32 car and Preston Calvert and John Yarosz driving the #35 car.
Headquartered in Phoenixville Pa., 40 miles west of Philadelphia, the team is supported by the shops and resources of Phoenix Performance, perennial contender and longtime entrant in the Grand Am and IMSA series going back to 1993. The Phoenix team has won GS Championships in 1996 and 1997, was runner up in the ST class in 2009 and will continue with its distinctive Black and Gold livery.
Team Principal Joe Aquilante commented on 2014 plans; “We are very excited with the two car team and looking forward to a full season in 2014. We have a strong driver line up with Andrew and Kurt in the #32 car and Preston and John in the #35 car. In addition, Andrew will be serving as the teams technical director and we have John Vincent back as Crew chief/engineer and Jeff Feit back as team engineer and a strong and capable crew lined up.”
Drivers of the #32 car Andrew Aquilante, Chester Springs, Pa., and Kurt Rezzetano, Phoenixville, Pa., will be looking to build on the team’s 2013 development races at COTA, Barber, Watkins Glen and Lime Rock. Both drivers competed in limited Grand Am races in 2013, as well as SCCA club races. Aquilante won two national Championships at The SCCA runoffs in GT2 and Touring 1, while Rezzetano was pole sitter and runner up in the T-2 Championship race.
“2013 was a development year for us as we transitioned to the Ford Mustang platform” Andrew Aquilante said.” Kurt and I have steadily worked on understanding and improving our performance package in the Mustang both in Grand Am races and in various Club races and development days. We have put a lot of miles on the car testing various configurations; I think we have a strong understanding of how the car works and are looking forward to continued development”
Kurt Rezzetano, who joined Phoenix Performance in 2012 as a team technician and in various test driving roles, is looking forward to his first full season in IMSA Continental; “This is a big step for me and I can’t wait to join Andrew in driving and racing. The Mustang is a strong package and we have had fun working with it all through the last year. With Penske shocks combined with the Ford Racing suspension, and Brembo brakes and Hawk pads, its time to get racing with it”
Preston Calvert, M.D, from Potomac Md., joins the team for 2014 and looks for continuing development of his driving skills following initial success in Skip barber and Club racing in 2013. Calvert, a Neurologist and Neuro – ophthalmologist, is combining a life long love of motor sports with his medical pursuits. Starting with off road motorcycles in high school and medical school, he began pursuing competitive road racing in 2011, completing Skip Barber and Barber MX-5 race weekends through 2013. In 2013, he also began competing in SCCA club racing in SCCA Touring 1, finishing 8th nationally, qualifying for the runoffs and setting three track records along the way.
“It has been a lifelong dream of mine to compete in a professional series and I am looking forward to a full year in IMSA.” noted Calvert. ” Driving with Andrew and Kurt will be a steep learning curve for me but I could not have two better teachers. Teaming up with John Yarosz in the early races will also be a good experience since he is a veteran driver.”
John Yarosz, of Wyoming, Pa. is a long time Grand Am and IMSA competitor. For the last several years Yarosz has run selected Grand Am races as well as SCCA Club races. He holds several divisional championships and track records on the East Coast. Yarosz commented “When Joe and Preston called to talk about this opportunity I was ready. The Phoenix team handles all of my racing ventures, so the fit is a natural”
Phoenix Performance is a performance tuning organization specializing in both domestic and imported road racing and track day performance cars. Its 30,000 sf facility is located in Phoenixville Pa, 40 miles west of Philadelphia. Phoenix American Motorsports manages the the IMSA Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge activities. Technical and marketing partners include Ford Racing, Ford Performance Parts, Hawk Brake Pads, Ron Davis Racing Radiators, Penske Shocks and Brembo Brakes.
For more information about the team and cars, call Joe Aquilante at 610-482-0141. Fans can visit the team’s website at www.phoenixperformance-news.com and the Phoenix Performance website at www.phoenixperformance.net.
It was a banner weekend for Phoenix Performance and driver Andrew Aquilante. From Sept 14th through the 21st the SCCA Runoffs National Championship descended upon Road America.
Andrew’s talents as a driver are equally matched by his ability to build highly competitive race cars. In just three short weeks prior to the event, Andrew built his GT2 Corvette for the competition. The #36 GT2 Corvette qualified on pole and led every lap of the event despite wet and drying track conditions. Competition was stiff as the #36 held off a field of Porsches, BMWs, Corvettes, and Nissans. Andrew finished with a 4.370 second lead over the pack, which at one point, was almost 7 seconds but was lost to a mid race full course caution. Aquilante also set the fastest lap at 2:16.717 and won the Go-Pro move of the race.
Aquilante and Phoenix Performance would like to thank their sponsors, Susquehanna Services, Varsity, Ron Davis, Penske, Brembo, Hoosier Tire, and Hawk Performance.
Enjoy an image gallery from the Runoffs.
Phoenix Performance put on a stellar show in qualifying today at the SCCA Runoffs National Championship at Road America.
Andrew Aquilante took pole in T-1 and GT2.
Kurt Rezzetano took pole on T-2.
Preston Calvert was 2nd in T-1 and Joe Aquilante was 7th.
Don Knowles was 5th in T-2.
For a great recap of the days events check out the recap at SCCA.com
Phoenix Performance is ready for the SCCA Runoffs National Championship at Road America. The Championship rolls into Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin from Sept 14th through the 21st. Phoenix and their customers will enter the grid in force for the final race of the season.
T-1 will feature Andrew Aquilante and Preston Calvert, both driving Chevrolet Corvettes. Sportscar Magazine’s annual Who Will Win Edition has picked Andrew Aquilante to win the race.
Andrew will also be racing a Corvette in GT-2.
The A Sedan class sees Amy and Beth Aquilante both racing in Firebirds. John Heinrincy will also field a Firebird.
Kurt Rezzetano and Don Knowles will both field Ford Mustangs in T-2.
In other news, Phoenix’s Andrew Aquilante has been voted into the Road Racer’s Drivers Club this fall. This prestigious honor has been given to Andrew in recognition of his racing achievements at such a young age.
Phoenix Performance finished a solid 8th place at the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race at Watkins Glen. Intense and ever changing weather conditions saw Phoenix changing to wet tires and back to dry tires twice while avoiding numerous wrecks throughout the event. Andrew Aquilante and John Yarosz ran a strong race in the #35 Phoenix Performance Mustang Boss 302R.
Enjoy a photo library from the weekend below.
Check out Joe and Preston battling it out from the rear window of Joe’s Corvette at the 2013 US Majors at NJMP. Preston finished 3rd in the red #77 Corvette and Joe finished 2nd in the black #32 Corvette in both Saturday and Sunday’s race.