JaguarRSR press release
JaguarRSR OVERCOMES EARLY OBSTACLES AND GOES THE DISTANCE AT LAGUNA SECA
MONTEREY, California (September 17, 2011) - With great work from the JaguarRSR crew and smart driving by its pilots, the team recovers from uncontrollable obstacles and completes the six-hour challenge of Round Eight in the 2011 American Le Mans Series Presented by Tequila Patron at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Ken Wilden qualified the #99 JaguarRSR XKR GT 11th on the GT grid and Bruno Junqueira took the green flag for the ModSpace American Le Mans Monterey presented by Patron. An on-track incident in the famed Corkscrew involving a LMP car that spun and caused the two Corvettes to spin ahead of Junqueira left him with no where to go as the track was completely blocked. He made contact with one of the Corvettes which resulted in a broken radiator and nose. It was an unfortunate accident that caused a lot of damage early on in the race. The crew had to replace the nose, put a new radiator in, new water lines, oil coolers and steering link.
During the repair, Junqueira wrapped up his two-hour run and Wilden stepped in. Once the repairs were fixed, the Canadian was on his way for a successful two-hour stint. Junqueira returned to the cockpit for the remaining two hours. The team was able to salvage an 11th place finish in class.
"It was a shame that we were taken out of contention early on, but we still had a good race," said Paul Gentilozzi, JaguarRSR Principal Partner. "What has already been demonstrated, but further enforced this entire weekend is what a dedicated and determined crew we have behind these Jaguars. They never give up and that is why we were able to go the distance today. If it weren't for those misfortunes, we could have had a better result. We increased our speed by over two seconds from our run last year at Laguna Seca. We did lose a lot of laps due to having to replace the entire water system, body work, and steering link on the #99 car, but after that the it ran fine and with a good competitive race pace. We were able to go the distance and learned a lot from today's run to prepare us for the Petit Le Mans."
The #98 car had an early retirement due to suspension damage from contact.
The season ends where it all started for JaguarRSR back in 2009 at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia, October 1. The Petit Le Mans is the second longest endurance event of the season - a 1,000-mile/10-hour classic.