The Ferrari 458 GT was developed for the billiard smooth race tracks of Europe and should feel right at home at COTA.
TAVARES, Fla. - Bill Sweedler and Townsend Bell are looking forward to running the Team West/Alex Job Racing Boardwalk Ferrari at this weekend's American Le Mans Series event at the new Circuit of the America's (COTA) in Austin, Texas, Sept. 19-21.
Sweedler (Westport, Conn.) and Bell (San Luis Obispo, Calif.) will be making their first visit to the newly constructed 3.4-mile, 20-turn undulating road course located 20 minutes from downtown Austin.
"Getting the chance to run a brand new natural terrain road course, especially like COTA, may happen once or twice in a racers career," Bell said. "The first thing you see when studying the track is that ski hill that starts at the middle of the front straight and goes up to the clouds.
We will probably see the entire GT field go 12 wide through that turn. The next section that sticks out is the esses. It looks like a great rhythm section that will certainly reward a well-balanced car."
Sweedler is looking forward to getting to know the new COTA circuit.
"This is a special event for us this weekend at Team West/AJR," Sweedeler said. "Our sponsor and partners Boardwalk Ferrari as well as team co-owner Eduardo Espindola are from Texas. COTA looks like a great facility.
I have heard nothing but great things about the track and all of the amenities. Yokohama has been making great progress on the tires this season and we will need every bit of grip to motor through those fast esses."
Eduardo Espindola, team co-owner, is anxious for a home event.
"I have had COTA highlighted on my schedule all season," Espindola said. "Our partners at Boardwalk Ferrari are located in Plano and we are looking forward to their involvement this weekend."
Alex Job, team co-owner, has the team looking at all available data.
"There isn't a lot of data on COTA yet," Job said. "Ferrari has run there already with Grand-Am, but not much of that data can translate to the ALMS GT spec car. The track is new and really smooth, so that will require a lot of shock and spring work by the crew."
The American Le Mans Series race at Circuit of the America's in Austin, Texas will run Sept.19-21. The television broadcast from COTA will air Sept. 22 at 1:00 pm EDT on ESPN 2, live streaming can be viewed Sept. 21 starting at 3:45 pm EDT on ESPN 3.com. Live qualifying can viewed Sept. 20 at 2:40 pm EDT on ESPN 3.com.
Alex Job Racing is one of the most successful teams in sports car racing with 70 wins (since 1995); including two Rolex 24 GT Class wins in 1999 and 2013. This record is supported by 48 pole positions and 106 podium finishes. The team has won four championships (GTC 2012, GT in 2004, 2003 and 2002) complimented by their two GT class wins at Le Mans. The team also boasts nine Sebring 12-hour wins.
The ALMS GT Class is comprised of production-based, moderately-modified, two-wheel drive race cars including the BMW Z4, Corvette C6.R, Ferrari F458 GT, Viper SRT and Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. The GT cars share many similarities to their showroom brands.
With top speeds of up to 180 mph, these elite GTs produce between 450-500 horsepower and have a minimum weight of 1,145 kilograms (2,480 pounds). All GT race cars have green Leader Light System race position lights and green car numbers.
Alex Job Racing