LANGHORN, Pa. (July, 15, 2004) –Inner City Youth Racing and Phoenix Performance have announced a partnership to race a Subaru Impreza WRX STi in the Sports Car Club of America T1 National Championship.
“This is a project of mutual interest,” said Dave Rosenblum, ICY Racing owner. “Subaru has long showcased their cars in ProRally and Solo competition and we think it is time that we showed racing fans what the automotive marketplace is learning about Subaru. The same attributes that make the Subaru a very popular street car will make it a very good racing car.”
The WRX STi features a turbocharged, 300-horsepower, four-cylinder engine coupled to a six-speed transmission and Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. It will be driven by Chuck Hemmingson, of West Des Moines, Iowa. Hemmingson began racing in 1979 and has had a successful career in SCCA Pro Racing. In 1987 he won the VW Cup series. In 1989, he finished second in the SCCA Truck series. He was the IMSA International Sedan Champion in 1992 and 1993. He finished fifth in the 2003 Speed Touring point standings with two podium, three top-five and seven top-10 finishes. He scored one pole at Mid-Ohio – the home of the SCCA National Championship Runoffs.
“With 300 turbocharged horsepower and all-wheel drive, the Subaru offers quite a performance package,” said Hemmingson. “It certainly does not have the power of the big cars in the class, but it also does not have the weight. If bad weather becomes a factor, as it has in past years, we believe the all-wheel drive will more than make up for any horsepower disadvantage.”
“Some people bring rain tires,”added Phoenix Performance owner Joe Aquilante. “We will bring the Rain Car”.
The T1 class is the currently filled with cars such as the Porsche 911 and the Chevrolet Corvette, but the ICY/Phoenix partnership is looking to change that. “Phoenix Performance has won the T1 National Championship for the past three years in a Corvette, but we hope to lay the foundation for more affordable cars to compete successfully in the T1 and T2 classes,” said Rosenblum.
The team’s first race is scheduled for the St. Louis National on July 30 – August 1 at Gateway International. Three or more races are planned before the SCCA National Championship Runoffs at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on September 20-26.
Inner City Youth Racing (ICY) was established in 1985. A former drug-abuser, Rosenblum established the ICY team to help underprivileged young Philadelphians stay straight through his “Winning in Life” message. Team members are selected from Swenson High School and learn teamwork and inter-personal skills as they travel throughout North America as ICY Racing crew members. ICY was one of three factory VW race teams from 1985 to 1990, winning eight Firehawk races, including the Watkins Glen 24 hour race. ICY Racing was the Saturn factory race team in World Challenge from 1991 to 1998, winning the Manufacturers' Championship in 1997.
Joe Aquilante’s Phoenix Performance has a very impressive history and record in street stock racing starting in 1993. Joe’s cars and drivers have won two IMSA Street Stock Championships in the Grand Sports class. In SCCA National Championship competition Phoenix Performance cars have won one T2 and four T1 titles, including three-in–a-row from 2001 to 2003.
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