BALTIMORE, MD, (Aug. 31, 2012) - Alex Job Racing's (AJR) Leh Keen qualified the No. 22 WeatherTech Racing Porsche on the front row in GTC for tomorrow's running of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) Baltimore Sports Car Challenge presented by SRT.
Like the rest of the ALMS drivers Keen (Charleston, SC) and teammate Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, ILL) have had to contend with a bumpy track through practice and qualifying. The organizers had to tighten the afternoon schedule robbing the team of valuable track time to put a chicane in over a bumpy set of railroad tracks, which cross the longest straight-away. Keen has also been providing tutelage to teammate MacNeil on the nuances of the 2.02-mile, 12-turn temporary street circuit as it is the college students first time on the Baltimore streets. Keen was able to put it all together and qualify the white and black Porsche in second in GTC with a time of 1:36.117.
"It has been a hectic day, which it always seems to the case here in Baltimore," Keen said. "The track comes together late. There are aspects of the track that the organizers had to figure out, so it changes. We now have a chicane on the front straight, where this morning we didn't. The chicane is simple, so it didn't take a lot to get used to. We have been working on the braking on the car and we still have some work to do to get it more compliant over the bumpy concrete. We will get that fixed for the race tomorrow. Cooper will be starting the WeatherTech Porsche from the front row in the race, so that will give him some clean track for the start."
MacNeil is not a big fan of the new chicane."
"I have only had about 15 laps on the track so far," MacNeil said. "Leh did a great job in qualifying to get us on the front row. The delay this afternoon didn't help me with the loss of track time. I am not a big fan of the chicane. I liked it when the car jumped around over the tracks. We are leading the points. We came here to win, and we are going to run hard from the beginning tomorrow."
Alex Job, team owner, will have tight rein on the WeatherTech drivers tomorrow.
"We will be very careful in managing our race tomorrow," Job said. "We need to get to the 70% completion mark, and then we can focus on going for the win. These concrete walls are not forgiving. We can't afford to have anything happen this late in the season. We are planning to be passively aggressive tomorrow in the race."
Source: Alex Job Racing