The final round of the Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge begins today with APR Motorsport looking to finish the season on a strong note. After a 6-week lapse between New Jersey and Mid-Ohio, APR was able to work quickly to bring a couple new contenders to the challenge. It's shaping up to be an action packed three-day weekend here in Grand-Am.
Josh Hurley and Gary Gibson take to the track for the first time in a brand new APR Motorsport Audi B8 S4 sponsored by Perfect Pedal, which replaced APR's previous S4 earlier this season. During initial testing Hurley reported the S4 felt much stronger than the previous platform and is pleased with latest modifications.
The S4 is now outfitted with APR's entire performance line of hardware and software along with other Motorsport only modifications not suitable for the street. Performance repeatability is often difficult on forced induction engines in racing environments but thanks to recent hardware releases from APR, the S4's power is remaining consistent without sacrificing engine reliability.
When designing the new S4, APR's Motorsport Engineers paid careful attention to overall vehicle weight, particularly during development of the full interior roll cage. Structural rigidity and driver safety are at an all time high within the new driver safety cell while weight was reduced by varying cage piping diameter throughout.
Weight reduction was taken seriously right down to the wiring harness, which contains not a single wire more than necessary. The S4 was able to shave another 35 lbs through these design changes putting the #91 Perfect Pedal S4 right at the minimum weight allowed per rules.
For the first time anywhere in the world, the B8 S4 was outfitted with a highly advanced Bosch Motorsport ABS system featuring on-the-fly ABS adjustment. APR worked closely with Bosch Motorsport engineers to incorporate the system into the factory CAN bus and spent considerable time and resources recalibrating the factory Continental Simos 8.4 ECU to accept the new system. Simply removing the factory ABS system causes the ECU to enter into "Limp Mode" which severely handicaps the engine by forcing it into a protection mode designed to severely limit engine output.
In Street Tuner (ST), APR Motorsport takes to the track fielding 3 VW GTI's with #171 and #181 currently in 4th and 6th in team points. Overall, Volkswagen enters the final round in 2nd place for manufactures points. This comes thanks to only two to three APR DriverGear VWs battling against as many as ten Mazdas split between two different chassis styles and six Hondas as well as many other makes.
If the cards fall correctly for Ian Baas and Ryan Ellis, #171 could take home the team championship with Volkswagen also sitting at the top in manufacturing points making this one of the most important races in APR Motorsport's history. Ryan Ellis and #181's Kevin Gleason currently sit 2nd and 4th for rookie of the year point's standings.
The #161 MK5 GTI was severely damaged at the previous race and the technicians at APR Motorsport worked tirelessly to build another car using a backup chassis. This particular chassis (#002) is the winningest chassis in APR Motorsport's stable with 3 race wins. #161 will be driven by Enzo Potollicchio and Anthony Massari. Enzo is currently the point's leader in the Ferarri Challenge and is an accomplished Daytona Prototype driver. This marks Enzo's first race with APR Motorsport.
The ever-expanding APR Motorsport lineup leaves behind the cramped working conditions of the old paddock setup and welcomes a new motorsport truck and trailer. The new trailer is complete with a 30' x 70' awning capable of housing 5 vehicles and enough room to keep our guests safe and comfortable.
APR Motorsport is aiming for success across the board and is excited to close out the 2011 Grand Am season with an excellent points standing. Qualifying is on Friday, 9/16/2011 and the race is on Saturday, 9/17/2011. Live Timing and Scoring is available all weekend on www.Grand-Am.com.