Alex Job Racing Heads to Petit in GTC Championship Hunt Tavares, FL, (Sept. 28, 2010), Alex Job Racing (AJR) is headed to Road Atlanta for the final round of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron to be run on Saturday, October...
Alex Job Racing Heads to Petit in GTC Championship Hunt
Tavares, FL, (Sept. 28, 2010), Alex Job Racing (AJR) is headed to Road Atlanta for the final round of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron to be run on Saturday, October 2. The Petit Le Mans presented by Mazda holds three championship possibilities for the team from Florida. Bill Sweedler, Romeo Kapudija and Jan-Dirk Lueders will be up to the challenge in their No. 23 Battery Tender/Tequila Patron/Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car.
- AJR driver Bill Sweedler remains in the GTC championship picture. He needs to have Pappas/Bleekemolen (54 car) not be classified and Lewis (88 car) to finish fourth or worse.
- Sweedler and Romeo Kapudija are battling for the GTC Founders Cup trophy, awarded to the top driver that does not derive his primary income from racing.
- AJR is still in contention for the team championship. The team would have to win, have Black Swan score zero points and a fourth place or worse for Velox and second or worse for TRG.
Before the team can write banquet acceptance speeches there is the matter of nearly 1,000-mile/10-hours of running around the very challenging 2.54-mile, 12- turn Road Atlanta circuit. The biggest challenge will come with the 45-car field, with many of those in the much faster prototype classes. The biggest field the series has witnessed prior to this weekend was at the season opener at Sebring with 33 cars entered. Large fields have proved treacherous for the GTC competitors, with the faster competitors showing little respect for the Porsche 911 drivers. This will factor into the finishing order come Saturday evening.
Sweedler likes his chances at the track where he cut some of his early racing teeth.
"I consider Road Atlanta my second home track to Lime Rock," Sweedler said. "I love the track. It is one of the first tracks that I started racing on when I began driving. We will focus the set-up of the car for complex of turns from one through Turn Six. If you can get the car to handle through that section you will be good everywhere else on the circuit. You can make a lot of time through there with a good handling car. The downhill at 12 and the exchange to the back straight-away is important, but good lap times come from being good from Turn One to Turn Six. There is a large field. The race will be like a larger scale version of Lime Rock. We won't have the Bull Ring of Lime Rock, but it will clearly have a similar traffic feel like it does at Lime Rock. In the GTC class we will have cars around us all of the time looking to overtake. It will be a challenge. We will constantly have to be aware behind the wheel. Anything can and will happen this weekend. Our focus is to get the team championship for Alex Job Racing."
Romeo Kapudija is excited to be going into the final event with a shot at the championship.
"With the potential championship insight, I believe that we have to be very methodical in our approach to this race as it's a very long," Kapudija said. "We will have to stay out of the pits and maintain a swift pace without getting tangled with any other cars. Bill and Jan have been very quick and consistent during the long races and I hope to keep that positive momentum in this race. With 45 cars on the track, it's going to be important to be aware of the traffic around us. The prototypes and the GT2 cars have proven to be somewhat anxious and hostile towards us and have pushed us off the track in a couple of races. We will need to be extra careful during this race in order to get a good finish. Our car set-up will be primarily focused on Turn One and through the esses as there is a lot to gain in terms of time through this series of corners. I have raced a Porsche RSR at Petit in 2005 and it was an awesome experience. The fans and the atmosphere make it very cool and coming to this race with the potential of a championship is very exciting. It would be a dream come true if we won the last race of the year!"
Jan-Dirk Lueders will be making his first laps at the track located an hour north of Atlanta.
"I have not been to Road Atlanta before and unfortunately have not had a chance to learn the track," Lueders said. "I am doing my homework though, studying data, track maps, and on-board cameras. In the past traffic has always been my friend. It's what makes racing - racing! For the first couple of sessions I will focus on getting the rhythm of the track. I am sure Alex Job and his crew will give us a great baseline to start practice from on Wednesday. It should not take us long to fine tune a good set-up for a long race."
Alex Job, team owner, takes his team into the second longest event of the schedule with season ending hardware on the line.
"We have something to play for on Saturday," Job said. "We have the possibility to grab three different titles. There will be 19 cars in the prototype divisions and 17 in GT2. That is a lot of fast cars to deal with. Not to mention that four of the P-cars are Audi and Peugeots. Bill and Romeo are in line for the Founders Cup and we have a good chance at the team title as well. If the 54 guys have a disastrous race we may luck into the GTC championship. We have four wins at Petit Le Mans (1999, 2002, 2003, and 2004) and we will put all of that experience to work on Saturday."
The American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron Petit Le Mans will be televised live on the SPEED Channel starting at 11:00 a.m. ET, Saturday, October 2. The racing network will provide flag-to-flag coverage for the entire event from 11:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.