Josh Hurley and Ian Baas Dominate Grand-Am Koni Challenge at Barber

Tony CastaneiraAnalyst IJuly 19, 2009

Josh Hurley and Ian Baas led 76 of the 83 laps to win the Grand-Am KONI Sports Car Challenge Legacy Credit Union 200 at Barber Motorsports Park.

It was the first career victory for both drivers of the No. 171 APR Motorsport Volkswagen GTI. It was also a home-course victory for APR Motorsport, based in nearby Auburn, Ala.
After leading the opening 36 laps Baas was passed by the No. 111 Subaru of America Subaru Legacy of Andrew Aquilante on the front straightaway. Baas quickly regained the lead on the next lap, and paced another lap before pitting and handing over the driving duties to Hurley.

“The Gunther VW APR crew performed an awesome stop. Said Hurley.  By the time my out lap was finished, we had pull 15 seconds out on the Subaru on the pit stop along.”

Hurley's only challenge in the closing half of the race came when the third and final full-course caution waved with 38 minutes remaining, erasing a 12.8 second lead. On the restart, Hurley motored away from Kristian Skavnes, who took over for Aquilante, finishing with an averaged speed of 75.473 mph

“With a half hour to go, a lap BMW spun in front of me and became buried in the gravel. This brought out the full course yellow and negated our 14 second lead. This was doubly worrying as the Subaru has all wheel and is effective with worn tires. Behind him was a Miata that due to low weight is also good on tires. On the restart I was able to pull out a slight gap and fend off the Subaru who then fell back further into a battle with the Miata. This allowed me to open up a four second gap and bring home my first victory of the season and the third for our team. I'm really proud of the Gunther Volkswagen APR Motorsport crew.”
Andrew Carbonell, who took over for 15th-place starter Rhett O'Doski in the No. 146 Freedom Autosport/Mazda Mazda MX-5, passed Skavnes following the restart and finished second, 4.118 seconds behind Hurley.
Skavnes finished third, followed by Owen Trinkler and Jade Buford in the No. 196 Cruise America/Four Winds Mini Cooper S, Bryan Ortiz and Wilden, and Sarah Cattaneo and Mark White in the No. 147 Freedom Autosport/Mazda Mazda MX-5.

Photo: Grand-Am

Quote: Josh Hurley.