In another wild Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race, APR Motorsport showed its strength in the ST class again by running with both of its APR VW GTI’s in the top-ten in the late stages of the race. When the checkered flag fell, however, it would only be the no. 161 APR VW GTI of Nate Norenberg and Josh Hurley that would crack the top-ten, as Hurley guided the car to a ninth place finish.
After a strong opening stint by Norenberg, Hurley would survive a hectic late-race battle – as well as several restarts following full-course cautions – to finish ninth. The rear bumper, which hung on for dear life in the final stages of the race, was proof of the physical nature of the race.
“Ninth is a decent result – we would rather win than be ninth, but we are pretty happy with how the race went,” said Hurley. “It was pretty warm today and I think that hurt our car over the course of the race, so we were kind of hanging on a bit at the end. Nate did a great job to get things started and after the way our race ended last week, it’s nice to get a finish.”
Troubles started early for the no. 171 APR VW GTI, which won last week’s race at Road America. During the warm-up lap, Cheng reported a loss of power that forced him to come to pit lane before the green flag. The APR Motorsport crew was able to make repairs and send Cheng back out without losing a lap to the ST field. Cheng was able to stay on the lead lap until a full course caution period allowed the team to stop for a full service and put co-driver Aleks Altberg in the car.
With good work in the pits and a strong stint by Altberg, the car gained positions and ran as high as sixth before problems surfaced again, halting the car on track during a full course caution. The car would refire, but Altberg had lost most of his track position, and the car would ultimately finish in 21st.
“The car was working really well, and we were really happy about how the race was going,” said Cheng. “And then we had some kind of electronic glitch under yellow. It’s really unfortunate, because the team had worked a minor miracle to fix the car earlier in the race to keep us on the lead lap, and Aleks did a great job once we did our driver change. The yellows helped us and we were good on tires and fuel, but then the car shut off. After the high of last week, this is a real low. I’m not sure what else we could do, but we’ll move on to Indy and hope for another good run there.”
The next race for the CTSCC is a historic first event – the Brickyard Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, on July 27. That race, on a Friday, will be shown live on SPEED2.com.
- APR Motorsport