ALEX JOB RACING RETURNS TO WINNING WAYS
Braselton, Ga. - Alex Job is always optimistic. Being in racing for 18 years forces one to be. But even he wasn't sure how his Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, or any of the others for that matter, would fare at the Lone Star Grand Prix.
As it turns out, Job didn't need to worry. The Reliant Park circuit was no match for Mike Rockenfeller, Klaus Graf and the No. 23 AJR Porsche. Rockenfeller raced through the field to take the lead, and Graf drove a consistent, quick pace to keep the rest of the GT2 field at bay Friday and give Job his 50th professional victory.
"We go into every race with a positive attitude and thinking that we can win," Job said. "I did think that Houston could be a challenge seeing what the Ferrari and Panoz did at Sebring. But the Porsches were better than I thought they would be."
With their first victory of 2006 in hand, Job and the rest of his team head to a track where Porsche has excelled in recent years: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Porsche has earned the last three GT2 wins in the American Le Mans at Mid-Ohio, including Alex Job Racing's victory there last year. Job had never won a professional race there until Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas took the checkered flag last year in the No. 23 entry.
"The Panoz was really strong there a couple of years ago in its first season," Job said. "I expect it to run well again, and the Ferrari will run well anywhere it goes. The Porsche definitely will have a challenge."
It may not matter who else is in the field if Rockenfeller and Graf drive like they did at Houston. The No. 23 Porsche was forced to start last after the team changed all four tires after a spin in qualifying. But Rockenfeller diced his way through the field to take the lead on lap 55.
"Outstanding. It was absolutely outstanding," Job said of Rockenfeller's stint. "He has an incredible ability to go to a new race track and learn it better than anyone, quicker. He has all the tools - everything and more."
"We knew after the warmup that we had a pretty good car," Rockenfeller said. "I've never had the package like I had before. It's such a competitive series in GT2. If you don't have everything - a good car, a good team and good drivers - it's going to be tough."
The American Le Mans at Mid-Ohio, the third round of the 2006 American Le Mans Series, is set for noon EDT on Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. It will be broadcast on CBS Sports at 1 p.m. EDT Sunday, the second of five straight races on the network. Qualifying is scheduled for 3:05 p.m. EDT on Saturday. American Le Mans Radio and IMSA Live Timing & Scoring will be available at www.americanlemans.com.