Charleston , SC.: The MINI of Charleston Racing team and our racing customers continue to dominate the action in the Sports Car Club of America’s South East Division. Last Sunday at Roebling Road Raceway in Pooler, Georgia, MINI of Charleston team member Jill Urso provided the MINI of Charleston team another SEDiv victory. Even with the odds favoring a dominate performance by the current class leader, the Pontiac Solstice, Jill ran a quick pace to win the race on the 2.0 mile nine turn track. In racing there is a saying, “To finish first, first you have to finish”. The Pontiac drivers learned this lesson as pole sitter Charles Guest got caught up in traffic and spun hard in the first turn on lap one. Trying to come back through traffic, Charles contacted MINI of Charleston driver Robbie Davis in his MINI Cooper S and again spun in turn one, taking Charles out of contention. The other Solstice driver, Amy Aquilante also spun coming out of turn two and was never able to return to be a podium threat. With a bent suspension from the contact with Guest, Robbie Davis held Amy off the last couple of laps and held onto fourth place. Jill’s 2006 MINI Cooper S is now the SEDiv points leader, with a 6 point edge over Davis ’ 2005 MINI . Second and third in SSB were held by the remainder of the Aquilante racing family, father Tom Aquilante in 2nd in his Chevrolet Camaro and other daughter Elizabeth Aquilante 3rd in her Pontiac Firebird. The Aquilante family hails from Phoenixville , Pa. and is well know as one of the best road racing prep businesses in the US . Rumor has it the SCCA Competition Board will allow the MINI to change to a limited slip transmission next month, in an attempt to equalize the class, after Pontiac asked for and received quite a few “non-stock” items added to the Solstice.
In the MINI ’s last year’s class, Showroom Stock B, Brad Davis carried the MINI of Charleston banner on the team’s counterfeit MINI (see www.counterfeitmini.com). The elder Davis qualified as the top class qualifier and led the pack into turn one. After getting stuck behind a car avoiding the spinning Charles Guest (yes, both classes run together in the same race), Davis dropped to third. In a couple laps Davis passed the Honda Civic of Larry Delude of Easton , Connecticut for 2nd place and held that spot behind Tim Myers of Marietta , Georgia in his Mazda 3. On the last lap, Brad got a good run up to Tim in the last turn and did a slingshot drafting pass just before the finish line. Tim moved Brad to the wall and gave him a “touch” on the left side, but at the finish, MINI of Charleston won another class victory, with Myers and Delude within a fraction of a second behind. It was one of the best 3 wide finishes in an SCCA race that most club members could remember. Brad is now tied for the SSC divisional point lead.
The team resumes action March 24 & 25 at Road Atlanta Raceway in Braselton , Ga.
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