Alex Job Racing (AJR) finished out the season with a tough seventh place in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron Petit Le Mans this evening. Bill Sweedler, Romeo Kapudija and Jan-Dirk Lueders soldiered on after a tough start...
Alex Job Racing (AJR) finished out the season with a tough seventh place in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron Petit Le Mans this evening. Bill Sweedler, Romeo Kapudija and Jan-Dirk Lueders soldiered on after a tough start to bring the AJR No. 23 Battery Tender/Tequila Patron Porsche 997 Cup home in the seventh position.
Bill Sweedler started the AJR Porsche and looked strong. On lap 15 the race took a turn for the worse. As he was coming down the hill into the tricky Turn 12 the Battery Tender/Tequila Patron 997 s swapped ends and landed in the wall. Sweedler had to be pulled from the gravel and taken back to the paddock for repairs. The AJR crew set about putting the black, green and yellow Porsche back together returning Romeo Kapudija to the fray some 27 laps down. The drivers were able to complete the race distance and cap the season by taking the checkered flag.
"I hated it to start the race that way," Sweedler said. "Putting the car into the wall on lap 15 of a 10 hour race is a really tough start. As usual the guys did a great job to put the car back together and get us back in the race. The car was really good the rest of the way. At night I turned some of my fastest times of the weekend so I will take that away from my tough start. The performance of the car all season just makes me hungry for more next year."
Romeo Kapudija put in a tough man performance today considering he was a little under the weather.
"I think I had a very consistent run today," Kapudija said. "Unfortunately we had some very bad luck at the beginning of the race that set us back to far to make up. The team did a phenomenal job to get the car back out. We didn't get the team championship today, which would have been so sweet for Alex and the guys who worked so hard all year."
First time Road Atlanta racer Jan Dirk-Lueders warmed up to the track after his run today.
"It was a lot fun today, the car was awesome," Lueders said. "The track was really consistent all day. I had one issue in Turn 12. A Corvette came up along side of me at the apex and I went into the grass at the exit, I tried to ride it out, but it spun. I recovered and continued. Other than that it was a very consistent day for me behind the wheel. I love this track. It is not easy there are some blind corners that are very unforgiving, but very fun."
Alex Job, team owner, had his team performing in the pits, paddock and on the track today.
"You just can't take the car back to the paddock in these races," Job said. "The competition here is just too tough. When you go down laps it is too difficult to come back. After we put the car back together the guys really settled in and did a good job. Bill ran some of his best laps at night at the end. Romeo put in a strong day even though he was a little under the weather. Jan-Dirk warmed up to the track that he had never driven before and really got away with just a spin down Turn 12, you don't see that happen very often at this place."