June 10, 2011
CTSCC - APR pulls amazing 1-2 finish at Watkins Glen
Against all odds APR Motorsport pulled out a fantastic 1-2 finish at Watkins Glen this past weekend. Considering how things were at the start, this seems almost impossible to believe. APR has always seemed to do well at Watkins, with their first Continental Tire victory coming at the track in 2009. All three APR VW GTIs started from the back of the pack. The #171 championship car of Ian Baas and Ryan Ellis had an engine let go in qualifying which meant they started at the back of the pack.
The 181 and new 161 Mk5 GTI (replacing the now-retired / written-off GS class S4) were moved to the back of the pack for a technical infraction of some sort, which was doubly disappointing as the Gleason brothers in the 181 and Nate Norenberg in the 161 (along with Josh Hurley) were set to start 3rd in ST.
Despite all that, the team regrouped and passed the entire ST field and ended up at the front of the pack. That's 55 cars! The equivalent of starting from the back and passing the entire field for victory at Le Mans from a number of cars passed standpoint.
The final finish was the 181 in first, 161 in second, and 171 in 31st. Ian lost the driver's championship points lead after suspension problems set them back in the field.
Although it's unfortunate for Ian to get bumped from the lead of the driver's championship, APR and VW remain in very strong positions, with VW retaining the manufacturer lead by one point over Mazda, and APR sitting fourth in team points. Ryan Ellis remains in the top five in the driver's championship.
With four events remaining it's crucial for APR to keep it together and finish strong in every event.
For more: www.grand-am.com / www.aprmotorsport.com