Behind the Scenes with Subaru Road Racing Team
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Behind the Scenes with the Subaru Road Racing Team
By: Sahar Hassani

Subaru of America, Inc. is passionate about racing their Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT Spec.B sedan, with its turbocharged 2.5-liter Boxer engine. The Subaru Road Racing team is currently running two cars in the KONI Challenge ST class. The factory sponsored team is managed by ICY Racing/ Phoenix Performance (www.ICYRacing.com) with co-owners Dave Rosenblum and Joe Aquilante. The Spec.B provides a great platform for a ST racecar and has gained momentum over the season, thanks in-part to a talented crew and an all star driver line-up. Kristain Skavnes and co-driver Chuck Hemmingson are currently leading the ST drivers' points in their #111 Legacy 2.5 GT spec.B. Andrew Aquilante, Don Knowles and Rosenblum share driving duties in the #141.

The letters ICY in ICY Racing stand for Inner City Youth," explains Rosenblum. "In 1984, I got back to racing and began working with kids in automotive (vocational) schools from the inner city of Philadelphia." He invites kids to the track to work on his car and serve as his pit crew. "The theory is to give these kids a break, but they have to commit to no drugs or alcohol, good attendance record and good grades in school." Some of the students are still part of the ICY team while others have gone on to college or trade school.

In 2004, ICY competed in the SCCA's T1 division with the Subaru Impreza WRX STis. The cars were reassigned to T2 for 2005 and scored two SCCA Touring 2 Championships in 2005 and 2006. As they defended their SCCA title in 2006, they debuted a Legacy 2.5GT wagon in the Grand Am Cup Series. "It was a trial basis at first with Subaru and we are now going on our 5th year with them. The focus has primarily been on their 'core technology'-boxer engine and symmetrical four wheel drive," says Dave.

Located 35 miles from downtown Philadelphia, the 4,000 sq. ft. race shop builds and prepares the car from the ground up. "We start with a body-in-white and it takes approximately 250-300 man hours to build a Subaru ST car," explains Rosenblum. "Subaru of America's Corporate headquarters is in Cherry Hill, NJ and its only a 45 minute drive from our shop." Rosenblum is impressed with the overall design of the Spec.B. Subaru makes a great product and its fun to race a popular car. The car handles great and allows the driver to recover easily if they make a small mistake."

The competitive 50-car ST field has provided fans with plenty of exciting road racing action. 'We race a very competitive showroom stock series against Honda, BMW, Mazda, Chevrolet, and Acura," he says. Currently, Hemmingson and Skavnes are leading the drivers' championship points with four top-fives, two podiums, and one win. The team is running fourth in points while Subaru is tied for third with Honda. Hemmingson has been an integral part of the team for over eight years," he says. "Chuck is a great driver and one of the best setup guys. Kristian and Chuck in a car are just stellar."
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