Road Atlanta II: J3 Racing race report

J3 Racing Finishes Sixth at Home Race Braselton, Georgia -- J3 Racing finished sixth today in round nine of the American Le Mans Series Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. On Friday, the Buford, Georgia based team qualified...

J3 Racing Finishes Sixth at Home Race

Braselton, Georgia -- J3 Racing finished sixth today in round nine of the American Le Mans Series Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.

On Friday, the Buford, Georgia based team qualified their number 79/Rock Star Energy Drink/J3 Racing/Porsche 911 RSR eighth in GT2. Tim Sugden handled the qualifying duties posting a time of 1:23.382 and an average speed around the 2.54-mile circuit of 110 mph. "We qualified about where we thought we would be, on the fourth row of GT2. The car handles well and is easy to drive over the long stints and that is important for a 10-hour race."

The race began on a tough note for the local team. The first yellow came out on lap seven and the team was caught out by the pace car and went down a lap. They pitted on lap ten to top off the fuel and then a pit lane violation put them down even further.

As the team cycled through their driver rotations, Nic J0x00f6nsson on lap 94 had a tire deflate in the braking zone in turn ten and went into the gravel. Soon after Justin Jackson had contact with the number 23 Porsche. The result of the contact and tire issues throughout the day resulted in some 16 pit stops during the 10-hour race.

"The car is quite quick," said Sugden. "When we are on fresh tires we can keep pace with the leaders. The tires go away really fast and then the times just rise and we have to pit. I am not sure if it was because of the temperature being pretty hot today or something else. We had some penalties and contact with other cars, it was a long day."

J0x00f6nsson echoes Sugden thoughts. "The tires are really difficult here. You get a lot of wear on the left rear tire of the car as most of the turns are right-handers. My tire puncture sent me into the turn ten gravel and cost a couple of laps. We had the car handling pretty good, but it was tough to keep it under us for a full stint like the other cars."

Justin Jackson explains his day. "We were getting about 23 or so quality laps on our tires and then the handling would go away. I had contact with the 23 car and that affected the set up of the car. Later we had to replace a rear damper as a result. We spent a lot of time on pit road and that put us down the order. The sixth place finish was not too bad after our tough day."

The companion number 78/J3 Racing/Porsche RSR driven by Michael Cawley, Terry Burgess and Leah Keen fell out of the race on lap 339 with a half-shaft failure.

The last event of the American Le Mans Series will be run at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on October 15th.

-j3r-

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Michael Cawley , Tim Sugden , Justin Jackson