Alex Job Racing Caps Strong ALMS GTC Year Tavares, FL, (Oct. 7, 2010), Alex Job Racing (AJR) capped a strong year in the inaugural season of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) presented by Tequila Patron GTC class. The Porsche racing experts...
Alex Job Racing Caps Strong ALMS GTC Year
Tavares, FL, (Oct. 7, 2010), Alex Job Racing (AJR) capped a strong year in the inaugural season of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) presented by Tequila Patron GTC class. The Porsche racing experts from Florida placed second in the team championship, posted two wins, won Sebring one-two-three, received the Mechanic of the Year award, Founders Cup trophy and the Ladder award.
Sweedler Founders Cup - AJR driver Bill Sweedler took the Yokohama Ladder Award for the driver that has made the most successful jump from the Patron GT3 Challenge Series to the GTC class as well as taking home the ALMS Founders Cup award for the highest scoring driver that does not derive his income from racing.
- AJR crew chief Ken Davison received the GTC Mechanic of Year award, the fifth time that an AJR crew member has received this trophy.
- Team won Sebring one-two-three, from the pole. Also posted a win at Long Beach.
- Bill Sweedler and Romeo Kapudija ended the year fifth and sixth respectively in the GTC driver point's standings.
The season was not without turmoil. The team started the season with three GTC Porsche 997 Cup cars. Following the fourth race at Miller Motorsport Park the decision was made to continue with just one car. Sweedler and Kapudija completed the season, finishing the year fifth and sixth in the GTC driver standings respectively.
Davison Mechanic of Year "We started the year perfect with a pole at Sebring and then went one-two-three to take every step on the podium," Job said. "We went into Long Beach on a roll and were able win there and put the 23 on the podium as well. Miller was a tough event. We were disqualified and due to unforeseen circumstances reduced our team to one car for the remainder of the schedule. I think that affected the rest of our year heavily. There wasn't the data to draw from on the other cars as well as losing Butch Leitzinger's knowledge left a gap for us going forward as well. Bill and Romeo did a good job for us in the remaining races and we went to Petit with an outside chance to win the driver's and team championships. We had some tough moments, especially at Mosport, but the crew showed why they are the best in the business by resurrecting a car that had a lot of damage to compete for the rest of the weekend. The awards for best mechanic and the Founders Cup are all well deserved. I would like to thank the Prelec family and Battery Tender for their support all year as well as Tequila Patron, Yokohama and everyone at Porsche. We will be back next year and we will be an even bigger force than we were this year."
Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring
Alex Job Racing swept the GTC podium in the 58th running of American Le Mans Series Presented by Tequila Patron Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring race. The AJR entered No. 81 Mission Foods Porsche took the win with the team car No. 23 Battery Tender/Tequila Patron coming second and the No. 80 Car Amigo 911 finishing third.
Leh Keen shot off to an early lead behind the wheel of the No. 81 Mission Foods/Alex Job Racing/Porsche GT3 911 Cup. The new to ALMS competition driver set the pace for the field early on by running laps a second faster than the rest of the field. The speed and motivation carried over to teammates Juan Gonzalez and Butch Leitzinger. Aside from a stop-and-go-penalty for a pit stop violation, the team's time at the front was never lost. For Keen it is his first win at Sebring and in ALMS competition as well as having the honor of posting the fastest lap of the race in GTC. For Leitzinger it his second win, the first was 20 years ago. For Gonzalez it adds to his family's legacy at Sebring where his brother (Roberto) finished third in 1976.
The No. 23 Battery Tender/Tequila Patron/Alex Job Racing/Porsche 911 GT3 Cup driven by Romeo Kapudija, Bill Sweedler and Jan-Dirk Lueders finished the day in second. The team had to battle back from some overzealous driving that resulted in a couple of spins on the track.
Luis Diaz, Ricardo Gonzalez and Patrick Kelly finished third in their No. 80 IDN/Car Amigo/Alex Job Racing/Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. After starting in third position the trio ran into some early issues with flat spotted tires and a malfunction with the driver cool suit, causing them to pit out of sequence. Once they settled into a rhythm they were able to drive back through the field and take the third step on the podium completing the AJR sweep.
Alex Job celebrated his seventh Sebring win. The team received their three Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars just four weeks ago and the No. 80 car was just finalized 10-days ago. The crew did heavy labor preparing the cars for the 12-hours which paid off with the one-two-three finish.
Tequila Patron American Le Mans Series at Long Beach
AJR's Juan Gonzalez and Butch Leitzinger won the Long Beach Grand Prix. The duo posted their second win in as many races in the GTC class. Teammates Romeo Kapudija and Bill Sweedler came home third.
Whether running for 12-hours at Sebring or 100-minutes at Long Beach Juan Gonzalez and Butch Leitzinger were able to back-up their Florida win with one in California. The winning moment of the race, unfortunately, was the losing moment for their teammates Kapudija and Sweedler. Sweedler put the No. 23 Battery Tender/Tequila Patron/Alex Job Racing/Porsche 911 GT3 Cup in the lead in GTC on lap 21. He then proceeded to lead the GTC race right up to pit stops on lap 37. The AJR crew was able to get Kapudija out still with the lead, which he held up until four-minutes to go in the race. The Chicago resident got into some debris on the track int Turn Five and spun. This allowed Leitzinger to pass for the lead and the win.
For Leitzinger and Juan Gonzalez it is their second win in the No. 81 Mission Foods/Alex Job Racing/Porsche GT3 911 Cup car, making the season, so far perfect.
Bill Sweedler started the No. 23 Battery Tender/Tequila Patron/Alex Job Racing/Porsche 911 GT3 Cup entry. He was able to improve on the team's fourth place qualifying effort to lead race by lap 21. Teammate Kapudija then led, spinning with just a handful of laps remaining, settling for third.
A tough start to the weekend for Luis Diaz and Ricardo Gonzalez in the No. 80 Car Amigo/Alex Job Racing/Porsche 911 GT3 Cup continued into the race. The first practice of the weekend on Friday had the car in the wall. With only a handful of laps, Diaz qualified ninth. At the start of the race Diaz was able to drive through the field to run as high as third. During the pit stop, Ricardo Gonzales took over and upon his return to the track he felt a vibration necessitating another trip down pit road. As he rejoined he had to come back in a third time, under green, to serve a pit exit violation penalty which relegated the team to a seventh place finish.
American Le Mans Series presented by Patron, Laguna Seca
Alex Job Racing's Juan Gonzalez, Butch Leitzinger and Rudolfo (Rudy) Junco came home third in GTC at the Monterey presented by Tequila Patron run at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The AJR No. 80 came fourth and the No. 23 finished the six-hours in seventh.
In a caution filled six-hours, 10 total yellow periods, the team of Juan Gonzalez, Leitzinger and Junco were able to drive their No. 81 Mission Foods/Alex Job Racing/Porsche GT3 911 Cup car to third place in GTC. The team overcame being shuffled back during pit stops and restarts to put Leitzinger in a position with three laps to go to pass teammate Ricardo Gonzalez for the last place on the GTC podium.
Ricardo Gonzales and Luis Diaz ran a very consistent race to be in the thick of getting their first podium position in their No. 80 Car Amigo/Alex Job Racing/Porsche 911 GT3 Cup entry. Ricardo Gonzalez battled with teammate Leitzinger over the last four laps before finally giving up the position to the sports car ace and settling for fourth.
The No. 23 Battery Tender/Tequila Patron/Alex Job Racing/Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car driven by Bill Sweedler, Romeo Kapudija and Jan-Dirk Lueders had a very tough day. On lap seven Sweedler was punted by a GT2 car into the Turn Six gravel and had to be extricated, costing the 23 three laps. The team was able to work strategy and get a couple of laps back, but a sticky transmission cost the trio time at the end of the race. In addition, Kapudija was suffering from a stomach ailment but was able to take the checker for seventh.
Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix, Miller Motorsport Park
Juan Gonzalez and Butch Leitzinger finished second in the Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix. The duo has a four race podium streak going so far this season. Upon final inspection the No. 81 was found to be too low and was disallowed from the final standings.
Starting from the ninth position on the GTC grid, Juan Gonzalez drove a solid first stint handing the No. 81 Mission Foods/Alex Job Racing/Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car over to Butch Leitzinger in fifth place. Leitzinger proceeded to lock horns with the No. 63 car, challenging for second, for his entire stint until lap 76 when both cars pitted together. The AJR crew got Leitzinger out first, overtaking the 63 in the pits and he proceeded to bring the car home in second.
Bill Sweedler started the No. 23 Battery Tender/Tequila Patron/Alex Job Racing/Porsche 911 GT3 Cup entry from his eighth place starting position and began picking off the competition from the drop of the green flag. On lap six, running second, Sweedler was heading into Turn Six and came upon a slow moving GT car and was struck from behind by the AJR 80 car. The damage caused a flat tire forcing him to limp around for repairs going down two laps. Kapudija took over and just logged laps trying to salvage as many points as possible.
Ricardo Gonzalez started the No. 80 Car Amigo/Alex Job Racing/Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car and was running strong in third place. Like the 23, the 80 car was involved in the Turn Six incident which caused substantial damage to the Porsche resulting in the car being retired on lap six.
American Le Man Northeast Grand Prix, Lime Rock Park
Sweedler and Kapudija overcame early contact with the wall to finish sixth in the Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut.
Bill Sweedler had the wheel of the No. 23 Battery Tender/Tequila Patron/Alex Job Racing/Porsche 911 GT3 for the start of the two-hour-and-forty-five minute race. In near 95-degree heat and 100% humidity, Sweedler was able to move up to fourth before being punted off of the precarious Downhill Turn and put into the wall, just ten laps into the race. The team made another quick repair on the radiator and bumper cover to get Sweedler back into action to maximize all points possibilities on the day.
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge
Round Six saw Alex Job Racing co-drivers Kapudija and Sweedler return to the podium with a third place GTC finish at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
For Alex Job Racing, the race was about ebbs and flows. Kapudija started fifth (in class) in the No. 23 Battery Tender/Tequila Patron/Alex Job Racing/Porsche 911 GT3 and moved up to second by lap five. On lap 23, he turned the team's fastest race lap with a 1:27.231 and was less than a second behind the GTC class leader.
Unfortunately a lap later, Kapudija radioed to the team that he flat spotted a front tire and possibly both of them. Cautious of his tire situation, he did not push the No. 23 machine any harder than he needed to because he had a substantial lead over the third place Porsche.
On lap 38, the No. 37 LMP car got stuck in the gravel. The AJR team anticipated a full course caution and had Kapudija pit for a driver change, four tires and fuel. Unfortunately, the caution came one lap later and the team lost two spots on the restart.
American Le Mans Series powered by eStar, Road America
Sweedler and Kapudija raced to a hard fought fourth place in today's running of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) presented by Tequila Patron Powered by eStart sports car race at Road America.
Starting from the fourth row on the grid, Romeo Kapudija wasted little time getting the No. 23 Battery Tender/Tequila Patron Porsche to the front of the GTC field - twice. Kapudija was able to make solid passes on the first three circuits to take the lead briefly on lap four. On the same lap going into Turn Ten he had a lazy spin at the exit, but was able to gather it up and return to the fray in seventh. Seven laps later he was able to take the lead again and held it until lap 32 when he turned the black and green 997 over to Bill Sweedler.
Sweedler had difficulty firing the Battery Tender/Tequila Patron Porsche after fuel and tires. The over exuberant AJR crew flew into action and Sweedler rejoined the field in fourth. As a result of having one too many crew over the wall the team incurred a drive-thru plus 20-second penalty, costing valuable track position and the possibility of a podium finish.
Mobil 1 Presents the Grand Prix of Mosport
Alex Job Racing recovered from a terrible start to the race weekend by finishing third in GTC in the Patron race at Mosport International Raceway. The race was shortened 29-minutes due to a crash on the long back straight that took down a section of Armco that could not be repaired in time to complete the event.
Three days before the race the team suffered a setback to the weekend when Romeo Kapudija had a big accident in Turn Two in the open test. The crash caused substantial damage to the No. 23 Battery Tender/Tequila Patron 997. The team made a heroic effort to put the AJR Porsche back together. After working nearly 40-hours on the car and bringing in substitute driver Mitch Pagerey, the team was rewarded with a third place finish.
Petit Le Mans Powered by Mazda2, Road Atlanta
Alex Job Racing finished out the season with a tough seventh place at Petit Le Mans. Sweedler, Kapudija and Lueders soldiered on after a tough start to bring the AJR No. 23 Battery Tender/Tequila Patron Porsche 997 Cup home in the seventh position.
Sweedler started the AJR Porsche and looked strong. On lap 15 the race took a turn for the worse. As he was coming down the hill into the tricky Turn 12 the Battery Tender/Tequila Patron 997 swapped ends and landed in the wall. Sweedler had to be pulled from the gravel and taken back to the paddock for repairs. The AJR crew set about putting the black, green and yellow Porsche back together returning Romeo Kapudija to the fray some 27 laps down. The drivers were able to complete the race distance and cap the season by taking the checkered flag.
The team will start the preparations for the 2011 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona and will return to the 2011 ALMS GTC series starting at the Sebring Twelve Hours.