(left to right) Don Knowles, Bil Spaude, and Andrew Aquilante in conference.
In their roles at Phoenix Performance, Joe runs the company, Jeanne serves as comptroller (office manager, accountant, bookkeeper, etc.), and Andrew works in the shop. Along with building and maintaining the SRRT #35 WRX STI Sedan, Phoenix Performance builds other race cars and modifies performance street cars. Over the years, they've put together approximately 180 race cars for clients.
Joe described Jeanne's work at the shop: "Jeanne organizes all the trucks, keeps all the guys paid, pays all the bills, sends out the invoices. She's an accountant by trade, and we met when we were both working for an accounting company in the 1970s."
Andrew's work in the shop includes building, maintenance, and repair of the SRRT Subaru along with other client vehicles.
On race weekends, what is it like as a parent to watch your son on the track? Joe commented: "It's pretty cool. He's actually a much better driver than I ever was. I think I'm his biggest fan. He's pretty good at what he does on track. I never have to second-guess him.
"The reason is that he's grown up around people like [longtime championship racers] John Heinricy and Don Knowles and Stu Hayner. He's watched these guys win from an early age, and he's watched how they do it. And he's listened to them talk since he was 6, 7, 8 years old. I don't know how much sank in, but, obviously being around them, he's learned how to go fast quickly.
"He has a good sense of the car. He's a very good technician, and he's been trained by the guys here at the shop. He's probably as good as just about anybody in terms of understanding the car and putting things together and taking things apart." Plus, according to Joe, Andrew probably has built seven complete race cars from start to finish.
All of this background and understanding the car that's under him give Andrew and the team an edge on the track for SRRT.
Through the winter of 2011-2012, we will carry the stories of the other families involved in Subaru Motorsports – the Spaude family in road racing and the Smith and Higgins families in rally.
Find more about SRRT at www.subaruroadracingteam.com, Phoenix Performance at www.phoenixperformance.net, and Andrew Aquilante at www.andrewaquilante.com. Also, read the cover story "Preparation of a Road Racer" - about Andrew building the #35 Subaru WRX STI Sedan for SRRT to run in the 2011 GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge – in Version 8.1.