Alex Job Racing to Start ALMS Season Finale Petit Le Mans Fourth
BRASELTON, GA (Sept. 30, 2011) - Alex Job Racing (AJR) will start the American Le Mans Series Presented by Tequila Patrón season finale Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda from the second row in GTC for tomorrow's race.
Bill Sweedler, Brian Wong and Leh Keen, the same AJR trio of drivers who started the season at Sebring, are ready for the 1,000 kilometers (621.3-miles) or 10-hours Petit Le Mans. The team has taken their usual measured approach to practice and qualifying, with the focus being a race set-up on the No. 23 Battery Tender/William Rast/Robert Graham/Alex Job Racing Porsche that is fast and comfortable for all three drivers.
Keen, Charleston, South Carolina, had the wheel of the No. 23 Battery Tender Porsche in qualifying, posting a time of 1:24.861 (108 mph) that will see him start from the second row in GTC.
"Practice was really good," Keen said. "We were working on getting the push out of the car and we did that in practice. In qualifying, we went a little further to guard against the push, but I think we went too far. So in the warm-up we will dial it back a little and put the finishing set-up touch on it for the race. We will have to really be careful for the first two-thirds of the race. The faster cars seem to want to take chances with us, so we just have to be fully alert all day and run a clean race."
Sweedler, Westport, Connecticut, is ready for 620-miles of racing.
"We have a great race car," Sweedler said. "Leh put in a great effort in qualifying. We were down to 1,000ths of a second dividing the top four guys. It is a 10-hour race, so it doesn't matter if you start first or fourth. We are going to have to be cautious. We are the slowest class in the field. We have the most to deal with as far as traffic goes. We are going to have to stay out of harms-way for the full 10-hour run. The Battery Tender Porsche is fast, and we are ready for 10 tough hours of racing."
Wong, Newport Beach, California, has a lot of confidence in car and team.
"We unloaded pretty good off of the truck," Wong said. "We did some changes here and there, and we have a fast car. Between the three of us, we were able to get a lot of track time in practice. Our car is really good. I have a lot of confidence in the car and the pit crew. Leh and Bill will do a fantastic job. Our competition is going for the championship. They have more at stake than we do. A podium is not what we are aiming for, we are looking for a win. It will be a long 10-hours. The first 6 or 7 hours we have to focus on being clean. There will be close calls and incidents, we just have to be patient and maybe lift some places and let the faster cars go."
Team owner, Alex Job, is looking to add another Petit Le Mans win to the team's trophy case next to those from, 2004, 2003, 2002 and 1999.
"We had a very clean two days of practice," Job said. "Bill, Brian and Leh worked well with the team to get a car that all three drivers are comfortable with. We were able to do maximum laps and get all three drivers some quality track time. We tried to push the set-up of the car a little for qualifying and that may have hurt us, but we will be fine taking the green from the second row. There is over a 15-second time difference between us and the front running P1 cars. So we will see them about every seven laps. The guys will have to be paying full attention every lap. It is going to be exciting."