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Preparation of a
Road Racer

New York International Auto Show, April 2010

 

The 2011 WRX STI Sedan debuted at the New York International Auto Show on April 1, 2010. James Han, motorsports marketing manager for Subaru of America, Inc., Joe Aquilante, SRRT team principal, and John Heinricy, SRRT engineering director, attended the pre-preview the night before.

 

As Aquilante was examining the car for the first time, he was asked if the sedan body would make for a better road-racing car than the team’s 5-door WRX STI for the 2010 season. He seemed intrigued by the idea. Neither Aquilante nor Han would say anything more definitive at that time.

 

When did the sedan begin to become a reality for SRRT? According to James Han, “At the annual Subaru dealer meeting the third week in May.”

 

RRT/Phoenix placed its order for its 2011 Subaru WRX STI in August. Andrew Aquilante recounts: “We started talking about what we were going to do next year in August or so, when James said we were going to run the 4-door for 2011. It was August when we placed the order for the cars. We had a good idea that we would probably go to the sedan once it was released.

 

“It’s been the Subaru halo car – the image of the STI has always been a 4-door sedan and the wing.”

 

Preparation Prior to Delivery

 

SRRT’s red #35 WRX STI 5-door underwent considerable development throughout the 2010 season in the Grand Sport class of the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series. The team met and overcame challenges posed by the cooling system, the turbocharger, suspension, and ABS. SRRT confronted and learned from an engine fire, loss of brakes, overheating, and more at different times throughout the year.

 

Late in 2010, Joe Aquilante commented, “This year will make a great case study on bringing a new car to the front in racing!”

 

Red #35 was competitive, and the team often vied with the leaders in the top 10.

  

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