JaguarRSR Looking To Carry The Momentum To Mid-Ohio
The JaguarRSR team looks to carry the momentum of posting the fastest GT race lap in the last event at Mosport to Mid-Ohio this weekend. With track veterans behind the wheel of the pair of JaguarRSR XKR GTs, the team will be looking to make additional strides to move up the 16-car GT field set to take the green flag in the fifth round of the 2011 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr?n.
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course is one of the classic North American road courses offering a unique challenge to any team and driver. "Mid-Ohio is a different track from what we have seen thus far in the season," said John Gentilozzi, JaguarRSR Technical Director. "Whereas both Mosport and to an extent Lime Rock rely quite a bit on high-speed corners, Mid-Ohio is much more of a technical track. It requires a lot of mechanical grip and less aero grip. The challenge is to develop a car that is good in transition from left to right and has excellent traction and stability."
Gentilozzi continued, "Having the fastest race lap in Mosport builds some momentum for the team and drivers. We know where the car can be on a one-lap basis in the right conditions, now we need to apply that to a full stint and aim to have good, consistent, fast lap times throughout the entire race."
This will be the second appearance for the JaguarRSR XKR GT at Mid-Ohio. Coming back in double fury, the team looks to take its lessons learned from their rookie season in hopes to better their ninth-place result in 2010.
"From last year to this year, we have developed the car quite a bit," Gentilozzi said. "There are some things that are very particular to Mid-Ohio that we remembered: some setup techniques, some driver techniques - general things that we learned about running a GT car there. We took these lessons and kept them in mind as we developed the setup for the XKRs this year."
Backing up the team confidence will see four drivers that are no strangers to the 2.258-mile permanent road course. Behind the wheel of the #98 JaguarRSR XKR GT is the American duo of PJ Jones and Rocky Moran Jr, while Brazilian Bruno Junqueira and Canadian Ken Wilden are set to pilot the #99 entry.
Jones has raced at Mid-Ohio in various machines ranging from Indy Lights, IMSA GTP and CART. He has been in victory lane while driving in the CART American Racing Series and grabbed the pole in GTP. Moran also has had vast experience driving there in Barber Dodge and Toyota Atlantic. He recorded fastest race laps in the dry and the wet conditions over multiple years and is ready to take on what ever challenge comes his way.
Wilden has had success winning in Formula Atlantic and the Grand Am Series. Open-wheel veteran, Bruno Junqueira will be a fan favorite from his CART days having made three starts and earning his best finish of fourth.
JaguarRSR will kick off the race weekend on Thursday afternoon participating in two promoter testing sessions. There will be two practice sessions on Friday ahead of GT qualifying at 2:40 pm ET. The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge is set for 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, August 6 with ESPN2 airing the race starting at 10 p.m. ET on Sunday, August 7. Live video coverage on race day will be available at 3:15 p.m. ET on ESPN3.com in the US, and americanlemans.com for international viewers. Canadian fans may also watch live coverage on Rogers Sportsnet starting at 3:30 p.m. ET. Worldwide radio coverage will be available on American Le Mans Radio at americanlemans.com.
WHAT THEY HAVE TO SAY
PJ Jones, co-driver of the #98 JaguarRSR XKR GT
"Mid-Ohio has been a great place for me in my racing career. I won my first Indy Lights race there, so it holds a special place in my heart. I enjoyed racing CART/Champ Car and IMSA there. It is an awesome place to race; it is a very busy place, very driver orientated. You don't have much chance to rest. For our cars, I think it is going to another good place. We have some good momentum going with both JaguarRSR XKR GTs, so I look forward to a productive weekend and good race on Saturday."
Bruno Junqueira, co-driver of the #99 JaguarRSR XKR GT
"I am very excited to go to Mid-Ohio. I have only raced there a couple of times, but I have always enjoyed it. There is a very big fan base in that area, which always adds to the excitement and makes it a good race because we all want to put on a great show. We keep making strides with the #99 JaguarRSR XKR GT, recording the fastest GT race lap in our last event only motivates us to keeping working hard. I look forward to getting back in there and pounding away more quick times, in hopes of having strong practice sessions, qualifying effort and a smart, clean race. The GT field is very competitive, but I know we have a car that can get into the top five; I would really like that to happen for the team, Jaguar, Dunlop and all our supporters this weekend."
Rocky Moran, Jr., co-driver of the #98 JaguarRSR XKR GT
"I really enjoy racing at Mid-Ohio. The track is unique because it has a perfect mix of high, medium, and low speed corners with some abrupt elevation change. This might be the most technical road course we run on due to the track layout, combined with the concrete paving in each corner. I feel that the #98 Jaguar has made some huge improvements since Mosport and I am highly encouraged that we showed so much speed in the race. Our guys have worked so hard and everything is really starting to come together for both cars. I have also noticed that the Dunlop tire is getting better and better and these overall improvements will definitely give us the momentum we need for a great result at Mid-Ohio."
Ken Wilden, co-driver of the #99 JaguarRSR XKR GT
Mid-Ohio is one of my favorite tracks. It is a very physical track for drivers in that there is not much rest. The trickiest part of the racing there is trying to pass. There are two very good areas to pass and the rest of the lap you have to work hard in order to be ready to pass in those areas. The other thing that is great about this venue is that the fans are close to the action and that makes for a great overall feel to the track experience."