APR - Barber - 2012

Long yellows and threatening skies factor into challenging race at Barber Motorsports Park

April 2, 2012 (Birmingham, Ala.) – Saturday’s Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race at Barber Motorsports Park will be remembered for a long time as one of the wildest races in recent memory. In a race filled with long caution periods and multiple incidents, APR Motorsport’s six-car team didn’t escape the carnage but still banked solid points for its ST-class Volkswagens.

When seventy-five CTSCC cars took the green flag, a huge crash began in turn one which ultimately claimed the no. 41 APR Audi S4. Started by Nelson Canache, the Audi was hardly into turn one when it was hit hard from the left side, damaging the car’s intercooler piping.

With the bulk of the first hour run under caution, the team’s starting drivers enjoyed very little green flag driving before the team opted to pit once the minimum drive requirement was fulfilled. With most of its cars going off-strategy to the leaders, hoping to gain an advantage on track position, all five of its VW’s ran together in the middle of the field through the middle of the race, with the no. 161 VW GTI of Josh Hurley – which was qualified sixth by Nate Norenberg – leading the group.

All the cars were ultimately frustrated by a series of ill-timed full course caution periods, but Hurley and Aleks Altberg, in the no. 171 APR VW GTI, were able to move forward in the closing stages as dark skies crept in and rain began to fall on the circuit. With Hurley up to 12th and Altberg battling to 13th, a decent finish was in the cards until the final corner of the last lap when Altberg and a competitor made contact, sending Altberg into a heavy crash and crippling his VW.

“We had a miscue during our pitstop,” said Hurley. “Unfortunately, our seat adjuster broke and I wasn’t able to get comfortable in the car during my stint. The car wasn’t very good on new tires, but on old tires it was very good. We were just stuck with bad track position during the entire race with the way the yellows fell. We should have been in the top-5, but at least we left with some points.”


Despite a heavy impact, Altberg stepped out of his APR VW GTI with no injuries.

“I made some rookie mistakes,” said Altberg. “I was definitely overdriving towards the end of the race since we had been stuck in the back the whole race. Josh (Hurley) told us how to deal with the tires going off, which helped me a lot. As for the crash, it takes two cars to crash. I could have left him more room, and he could have left me more room. It’s unfortunate but it happens and we’ll move on to the next one. I just really wanted to get to the finish for all the hard work that the guys put in this weekend, but I’m okay thanks to how strong and safe the car is.”

Not far behind, Juan Pablo Sierra, in the no. 181 APR VW Jetta GLI, and Alex Popow, a late substitution in the no. 191 APR VW Jetta GLI, also improved several positions in the closing stages to finish 16th and 17th in ST. The no. 191 APR VW Jetta GLI of Daniel La Riva and Christian Perez had a strong run of their own derailed when they lost several laps in the pits with a mechanical problem.

“What a crazy race!” said Sierra. ” I was fighting the whole time with many other cars – Honda’s, MINI’s, and BMW’s – and I learned a lot today about racing with other cars that were faster, and about how to defend my position. I know more about what we need to develop on the car, and what I need to do to drive with bad tires. I need to change my driving style a bit, to be more gentle, to take care of the tires. But I’m adapting more and learning a lot each time I drive.”

The CTSCC race from Barber Motorsports Park will be shown on Saturday, April 8, at 12:00 PM ET. The next round of the CTSCC is the Kia 200 at Homestead Miami Speedway, on April 27-28. That race will be shown on SPEED Channel on Saturday, May 12, at 12:00 PM ET.

APR Motorsport Results from CTSCC at Barber Motorsports Park

26. Nelson Canache / Ian Baas – no. 41 APR Audi S4

12. Nate Norenberg / Josh Hurley – no. 161 APR VW GTI
16. Hector Guerrero / Juan Pablo Sierra – no. 181 APR VW Jetta GLI
17. Juan Carlos Alvarez / Alex Popow – no. 131 APR VW Jetta GLI
29. David Cheng / Aleks Altberg – no. 171 APR VW GTI
34. Daniel LaRiva / Christian Perez – no. 191 APR VW Jetta GLI

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