The cars began to take their positions for the World Challenge standing start. The revs went up and when the lights went out the field scrambled. Josh was quickly able to get around some traffic and begin chasing the leading Volvo. The chase would quickly be interrupted by a full course caution as Josh’s APR Motorsport teammate was turned into the wall, necessitating a lengthy cleanup.
With the Volkswagens having less power than the Volvos, Josh knew his best chance would be to grab the lead on the restart. On a perfectly timed restart, Josh was able to put the Fortis Watches–Sim-Sport–APR Motorsport into the lead. It was then time to push hard! Josh was able to pull out a bit of a gap to the second place Volvo. However, as the race went on the Volvo was able to keep pace, using it’s horsepower to close while saving it’s tires.
Ride with Josh Hurley to Second Place
Josh put up a tough defense holding the Volvo off for quite a few laps. In the end the Volvo just had to much power and passed Josh on the back straight. Josh kept the chase though, and in the final laps began quickly closing on the Volvo. Unfortunately two other cars had a huge accident causing the race to end under full-course caution, preventing Josh from trying one final charge. However, Josh Hurley and the APR Motorsport team brought home a strong second place finish in their World Challenge debut.
“It was really tough out there. The Volvo’s had a bit more torque than us but the Fortis Watches–Sim-Sport–APR Motorsport car was really good today, and for our first time here, this result is really strong. The race was really fun though, I got to race against some really good friends of mine and it was a heck of a show,” Josh said. “I do wish the race had ended under green. I think the Volvo began having problems, as we pushed him really hard early in the race, but we’ll get them next time we see them.”
Josh Hurley Used Sim-Sport to Prepare for Atlanta
While Josh routinely hits the same race tracks year to year as part of his Grand Am commitments, the World Challenge race had Josh retuning to a track that he had only been on once, and three years ago at that. Faced with the prospect of having to already learn a new series with other new things such as tires Josh decided to cut his learning curve by using his Sim-Sport simulator to re-learn the infamous and fast Road Atlanta track before hand.
“It’s amazing how good simulation technology is these days. Aaron at Sim-Sport makes some incredible products that take simulation to the next level. It really lets me hit the first lap, as if I’ve been practicing for days,” said Josh. “Plus he takes real feedback from races into his product. So if you want raise your game to the next level, or just want to experience what it’s like to be a racing driver without huge expense and travel, make sure you check out Sim-Sport!”
When APR Motorsport decided to enter the September 30, 2011 World Challenge race with both MkVI GTi’s, Josh Hurley jumped at the opportunity to drive one. “I’ve helped develop these cars but haven’t gotten to race one of the new one’s yet, so I’m excited to get out there,” said Josh.
“Plus this type of racing and this track really suit me. It’s going to be fun to return to sprint racing for an event. No co-driving, no pit stops, just 45 minutes of flat out racing. Last time I did that it was at Road Atlanta when I brought home a championship, so I I’m feeling pretty good about next weekend,” Josh continued.
The last time Josh ran a sprint race at Road Atlanta, was back in 2008. It was the final round of the Volkswagen TDI Cup, and Josh needed a second place finish in order to clinch the championship. After a hard fought battle, including a last lap duel, Josh was able to bring the car home in second and clinched the Volkswagen TDI Cup!
Despite a few small issues the new car was flying. In the early practice days, Josh and the the Fortis Watches–Perfect Pedal–APR Motorsport Audi S4 were among the leaders. In fact the lap time they set was the third fastest of the weekend.
Realizing hat the Audi had the pace, Josh Hurley and the rest of the team spent the rest of the practice sessions running on old tires to set the car up for the long run and letting Gary Gibson get some much needed time in the car.
For qualifying Gary Gibson put the car into the middle of the field, only one second off the pace, which had boded well for Josh Hurley. The whole team excitedly waited for the race to start.
Cold Start Flap Breaks
At the drop of the green flag Gary Gibson took off, passing multiple cars before the first corner. Unfortunately the good run would only last a few feet, as a cold start flap, required by the rules to be run as stock, broke, shutting off all air from the 3.0 liter motor’s supercharger. With no more boost, Gary brought the car in. The crew quickly went to work and fixed the issue; but sadly the car had lost multiple laps. The team then elected to park the car in order to better prepare it for next week’s World Challenge race.
APR Motorsport began testing the brand new Audi S4 with Josh Hurley at the helm early last week at Auburn airport. Getting the car ready for this weekend’s race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course has been a race against time, and once again the team has delivered. While the test was originally scheduled for a true racing facility, tropical storm Lee had other plans. When the storm had shut down the area’s track, APR Motorsport got creative. Using the good will they had developed within their community, the team was able to secure a large portion of the Auburn airport for testing.
Josh Hurley was there to conduct the testing for the team. “I’m really proud of the team for getting the car ready, and for finding a way to test the car despite the storm. It’s been a tough time with the previous Audi but we’ve learned a lot, and that knowledge is evident in the new car,” said Josh at the end of the test day.
Last Year at Mid Ohio
Josh Hurley and the Fortis Watches–Perfect Pedal–APR Motorsport crew have had a great history of success at Mid Ohio. However, last year the team suffered an initial setback in qualifying, which forced them to start in 24th position.
After 30 minutes of racing, the team called to have Kevin Stadtlander come into the pits to turn the car over to Josh Hurley. Josh then began to move up the field, and after only 40 minutes, Josh had taken the lead.
Sadly the lead wasn’t to last. With only 20 minutes left in the event, a competitor in another class spun just in front of Josh’s Fortis Watches-Perfect Pedal-APR Motorsport Volkswagen.
With nowhere to go, Josh stuck the other car, damaging crucial duct work in the front of the car. Despite the damage, Josh was able to nurse the car home to an excellent 2nd position, netting a Hard Charger award for gaining the most positions, as well as leading the most laps.
So with past history on their side, look for Josh Hurley and the entire Fortis Watches-Perfect Pedal-APR Motorsport crew to be challengers throughout the weekend at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington.
While the race might not have ended well for Josh Hurley and the rest of the Perfect Pedal APR Motorsport team, Fortis Watches is proud to bring you this footage of Josh battling during practice with the other front runners.