The Subaru Road Racing Team (SRRT) ran its last race of the 2011 season at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.
A key aspect of this track is staying in control and not getting caught up in a wreck. During the 15 minutes of qualifying, I watched most of the cars take turn 9 at the north end of the track on three wheels. At least four different cars lost their handling and barreled through the gravel straight for the outside fence.
This track has tire barriers in front of many of the concrete walls and guard rail sections, but walking the track I could see spots where the guard rails had been bent from hard contact.
The drivers ran strong practice sessions, and Bret Spaude qualified the #35 WRX STI in 15th place. The race began with a caution. A total of seven race cautions collected many cars and eliminated some from a series title.
I was asked by a fan where to watch the race from. Being my first time to the track, I could only point them to the spot I had just came from, the Esses.
Spin outs, a blown engine with a fire, and nose-to-tail racing added plenty of excitement to this season finisher.
We asked Phillip Ly, a first time attendee at a Subaru Road Racing Team event to comment on what he experienced, “I had a blast,” he said. “The guys in the pits were very friendly and encouraged me to get close to the action.”
A well-timed pit stop put #35 out front for 8 laps. The #35 WRX STI went in for another pit stop right before caution came out, moving the team to the back of the pack. Aggressive driving brought the Subaru back up through the field to finish 15th – a great team effort to end the season.
Click image below to view the SRRT 2011 Season Performance Chart.
-- Melissa Carlson