Lime Rock Race Notes: Phoenix Proformance
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Photo Caption: Andrew Aquilante and John Heinricy raced the Phoenix Performance Chevrolet Corvette to a 12th place finish at Lime Rock Park, Conn., in Monday's Grand-American Rolex Sports Car Series GT race.

LAKEVILLE, Conn. (May 26, 2008) - The Phoenix Performance Corvette made its road racing debut today with a 12th place finish by co-drivers Andrew Aquilante and John Heinricy.

The newly-built Chevrolet Corvette raced in the Grand-American Rolex Sports Car Series GT class, and the team considers the finish a grand success. This was the first outing for a brand new race car that we built in 97 days from a street 2005 Corvette that I purchased at auction in Florida in January. There were no mechanical issues and performance was as strong as we expected, said Phoenix Performance owner Joe Aquilante.

This Corvette has been built to Grand-Am's Prep 1 rules for production-based cars and limited modifications, as compared to the tube-frame cars we compete against. The only thing we did to it all weekend was keep adjusting the suspension to improve the handling, and made it better each time. The GM Crate motor in it ran flawlessly

We qualified 11th and finished 12th, he added. There was never any consideration that we might win the race overall, because our car costs one Tenth of what those cars cost. We had fun and we proved a positive point to ourselves and to Grand-Am.

Joe has a long history of building championship-winning race cars, noted David Spitzer, Grand-Am's Vice President of Competition. We're going to do everything we can, within reason, to make sure production-based cars can be competitive, and yet be respectful of the teams which have chosen to race in our series with purpose-built Pontiacs, Porsches and Mazdas. That said, if John and Andrew win a race, that'll be great.

Heinricy started the race on the hilly, 1.53-mile road course in northwest Connecticut from 11th place, and climbed as high as ninth before turning over the car to Andrew on lap 76 of 158.

Andrew Aquilante, only 20 years old, is a 2007 SCCA National Champion with a Corvette. Heinricy has won 12 National Championships, 40 professional races and four pro series championships.

That was a blast, I think I got back to 10th place and racing with the Porsches was great said Andrew. The pace was ferocious, and with no caution flags, there was no time to rest. By the end of the race, I was worn out, and I think John was also after his stint. I know the guys at the shop will get on me about working out at the gym!!!
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