Alex Job Racing Finishes 1st and 2nd at Sebring Sebring, Florida -- Alex Job Racing over came driver illness, a last place starting position and the rigors of the airport circuit to finish first and second in today's Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of ...
Alex Job Racing Finishes 1st and 2nd at Sebring
Sebring, Florida -- Alex Job Racing over came driver illness, a last place starting position and the rigors of the airport circuit to finish first and second in today's Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
As a result of a 1 millimeter front splitter infraction the number 24 McKenna/mail2web/Alex Job Racing/Porsche 911 GT3 RSR was sent to the back of the field to start 44th. Despite this set back, Lucas Luhr was able to catch his teammate, Timo Bernhard, on the 28th lap where they ran together in second and third.
On lap 28 Romain Dumas took over from Luhr and was able to put the number 24 car into the lead five laps later. Between laps 92 and 211 the AJR drivers swapped the lead of the ALMS GT class three times among themselves. On lap 211 a yellow flag was brought out and the leader of the race ended up between Luhr and Bernhard, allowing Bernhard to get a wave-bye giving the number 23 AJR Porsche a one lap gift over the companion car. The pair finished the race separated by one-lap, six laps ahead of the third place GT class finisher.
For the AJR crew, the race was as somewhat routine. The pit stops were excellent coming into fuel, change drivers and put on a fresh set of Michelin tires was all that was needed all day. The only stumble of the team's once around the clock event was when Saascha Massen ran with the wrong engine map allowing him to be passed for the lead, but the German duo were able to make-up for the mistake.
Jorg Bergmeister and Marc Lieb have been suffering from the flu most of the week. Lieb was able to get into the car at nightfall to take advantage of the cool air temperature and complete the requisite 25-laps for a share of the points. Bergmeister was not cleared by the Porsche Doctor to drive and did not turn a lap in the race.
This win gives Alex Job Racing their sixth Sebring 12-hour victory, adding to those in 1995, 1999, 2001, 2002 and 2003. Timo Bernhard was awarded the Century Mortgage Fast Lap award.
Timo Bernhard, #23 McKenna/mail2web/Alex Job Racing/Porsche 911 GT3 RSR: "Too bad for Jorg, I wish he could have been well enough to join us today. We had very good team strategy today and a little luck with the pace car was the difference. The biggest competition came from our teammates so you have to race hard on the track as well as in the pits. The cars ran great, we didn't need anything except gas and tires all day."
Saascha Massen, #23 McKenna/mail2web/Alex Job Racing/Porsche 911 GT3 RSR: "I am sorry for Jorg, but this is a nice win for me and Timo. I made a mistake with the engine map and almost gave it away, but combined with excellent pit work, some luck with the pace car and Timo pushing, we were able to win. The AJR team prepared excellent cars and the Porsche engineers should be very proud of their work as well."
Romain Dumas, #24 McKenna/mail2web/Alex Job Racing/Porsche 911 GT3 RSR: "I had a good race with our teammates, we were able to lead a number of laps and were able to score points toward the championship. The cars were great, we were really close to them, but then we were just unlucky with the yellow flag. We never had a problem all race, Lucas and I had to do a lot of work, but I am looking forward to running the rest of the season with Marc."
Marc Lieb, #24 McKenna/mail2web/Alex Job Racing/Porsche 911 GT3 RSR: "I am feeling worse than I did this morning. Thanks to Lucas and Romain, they really worked hard today; I am glad I was able to get my laps in as we look to the championship. I really wanted to race, especially the way the cars and the team was performing, I don't if I was sick of illness or just that I could not be on the track."
Lucas Luhr, #24 McKenna/mail2web/Alex Job Racing/Porsche 911 GT3 RSR: "Saascha and Timo ran a good race. It is a shame to lose it the way we did with the pace car and some pit lane issues, but second is a good finish. I think we were as strong as they were, but in the end we were just unlucky. I was hit by the TVR, but the Porsche was barley scratched, it really didn't figure into our race."
Alex Job, team owner: "This place has been good to us. We had a bunch of new guys on the team and the pit stops went really well. We had a full day playing the strategy game, but that is what really separated us from the field today. The drivers didn't put a wheel wrong all day. We had to call on Lucas and Saascha to help carry the load with Marc and Jorg sick, but they were equal to the task. This positions us nicely for the rest of the season."
The next race for the American Le Mans Series will be June 27 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
AJR thanks team sponsors McKenna Porsche, mail2web.com, and partners Mobil 1, Michelin, Puma and ZF Sachs.