Lime Rock Park
JaguarRSR Returns To Competition To Take On The Heat Of The 2011 ALMS Season
Despite the near three month gap in the 2011 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr?n, JaguarRSR has been working diligently to enhance the performance of the boisterous JaguarRSR XKR GT and is looking to turn even more heads this weekend in Round Three at Lime Rock Park - the American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix, July 9.
Coming off the team's best finish of sixth at Long Beach in the ultra competitive GT field, the sophomore ALMS squad was elated for the opportunity to take advantage of some "down time". In mid-May, the team journeyed to the heart of NASCAR country in North Carolina to undertake a series of off-track tests designed to generate a wide range of performance enhancements. The first stop was Morse Measurements where the team fitted a XKR onto their Kinematics and Compliance Rig (K & C Rig). Next up was a 20-hour shift at the AeroDyn family of wind tunnels. The last stop was to the American home of damper partner Ohlins to utilize the seven-post shaker test facility.
Since the conclusion of those tests, JaguarRSR had been pouring over the huge mountain of data to reveal further performance secrets. After updates were made the team hit the track taking advantage of an opportunity to do some testing at Road Atlanta.
"It is hard to have such a big break in a season schedule, but we took every advantage of the down time to really focus on getting two cars ready for the heat of the season," said Paul Gentilozzi, JaguarRSR Principal Partner. "We have renovated our car systems and focused on weight reduction and distribution using our experience from Sebring and Long Beach. We saw great gains while testing these new developments at Road Atlanta and look forward to Lime Rock, a track that will give us a true test of what direction we have taken and where we are in the GT pack."
Lime Rock Park is 1.50-miles of natural-terrain road course with the breathtaking elevation changes in the village of Lakeville, Connecticut, in the state's northwest corner. It is a track that looks deceivingly simple, but is immensely challenging. Its uniqueness is that it is short, but actually quite fast. This race weekend is a short one with a limited amount of track time, so the team needs to be very efficient in finding the perfect race setup.
"The challenge for us is to make the XKR last the entire race in very warm weather and be very gentle on the Dunlop tires so that we can extract maximum performance out of them for a full stint," said John Gentilozzi, JaguarRSR Technical Director. "In the short practice time that we have, we will focus on making a good drivable car; obviously we are always looking for speed but we want to focus on making a consistent, fast race car."
Experience behind the wheel at such a venue also plays a vital role. PJ Jones returns to Lime Rock co-driving the #98 JaguarRSR XKR GT. The American is a legend of his own at Lime Rock, as he holds the ultimate track record for fastest lap (43.112 seconds / 128.595 mph - set in a Toyota GTP car, which earned him a pole position). California native, Rocky Moran, Jr. makes his ALMS return after debuting with the team in Sebring and also has several years under his belt at this track while competing in the Barber Dodge Series. In his most recent visit he won the pole and lead the entire race before a rear tire went flat and failed with four corners to go.
Teaming up in the #99 car are veteran open-wheel drivers Cristiano da Matta and Bruno Junqueira. The Brazilian duo will be venturing out for their first run at Lime Rock, but with their vast knowledge of road and street course racing and familiarity from their teammates, they should get acclimated very quickly.