RELIABILITY CONTINUES, MARGIN NARROWS FOR JaguarRSR IN MID-OHIO LEXINGTON, Ohio (August 7, 2010) - By demonstrating consistent reliability, the JaguarRSR team was able to increase speeds and bring the ...
RELIABILITY CONTINUES, MARGIN NARROWS FOR JaguarRSR IN MID-OHIO
LEXINGTON, Ohio (August 7, 2010) - By demonstrating consistent reliability, the JaguarRSR team was able to increase speeds and bring the #75 JaguarRSR XKR GT home to another top-ten GT class finish in Round 6 of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron, the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge.
After having a few days of testing time, the first practice session on Friday went well as the team continued to find what it would take for this car to be consistent around the 2.258-mile road course of Mid-Ohio. By the afternoon, the car had gained over two seconds from its best time posted in the a.m., and only 2.3 seconds off the GT leaders pace. Marc Goossens was the qualifying driver, and posted the best time of the weekend with a time of 1:22.125 (98.981 mph) which put him 12th on the GT grid.
Paul Gentilozzi took the green flag and had a good first stint. On Lap 16, he recorded a best race lap time in the XKR GT of 1:24.382. Gentilozzi remained in the car for the first 49 minutes of the race, before taking advantage of a caution period to come into the pits for service and a driver change. Goossens then took over and stayed in the seat for the remainder of the 2 hour and 45 minute race.
After running for 1 hour and 48 minutes, Goossens headed into the pits for tires and fuel. What should have been the last drive through in the pits of the race unfortunately was not. About 30 minutes later, the Belgian was issued a stop and go penalty for avoidable contact with one of the GTC class cars. Despite disagreeing with the call, the team served the 60-second penalty. No damage was done, and that didn't hurt the team position wise, so Goossens carried on to take the checkered flag a short time later. On the final lap of the race, he gave it his all one last time and recorded the XKR's fastest race lap time of 1:24.272.
A solid, consistent run by both drivers resulted in a ninth-place finish for JaguarRSR. Goossens earns two more championship points, while Gentilozzi earns his first ALMS points. Jaguar and Yokohama also benefited earning points to their name in the respective manufacturer standings.
"Obviously, we are happy with the progress we made," said JaguarRSR Prinicpal Partner and co-Driver, Gentilozzi. "We closed the margin and again stayed strong to earn another top-ten finish. We are not necessarily happy with our race pace. We made some adjustments and it was wrong direction, quite honestly, but it was a community decision between the engineers and the drivers. We will look at what we did, why it wasn't good, and we will not make the mistake at Road America. The disadvantage of one car is you can't split your strategy, you can only guess once."
Goossens added, "We definitely made a huge improvement this weekend, and still the reliability is there. Where we made the biggest advances is weekend was on the ECU and traction control. With great help from Drake Devore at Motec, we have been working hard to improve it and we managed to make a huge step forward. So now it is just a matter of tuning the car and trying to find a better balance. We still have poor grip compared to other cars, but braking is much better than what we had before. Overall, we made changes to make the car better, but we still have a ways to go and we will keep working and testing to get there - it just takes time."
With the first of three races in four weeks in the books, the East Lansing, Michigan-based team will pack up and head home to immediately begin preparations for the next race in two weeks at the favorable Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, August 20 - 22.