AJR does early prep for 2007 Rolex 24 at Daytona

With a "honey-do" jar full of work projects, Alex Job Racing brought its No. 23 Porsche-Crawford to the 3.56-mile Daytona International Speedway for testing Monday and Tuesday in preparation for the Jan. 28-29 45th Rolex 24 at Daytona. "The car...

With a "honey-do" jar full of work projects, Alex Job Racing brought its No. 23 Porsche-Crawford to the 3.56-mile Daytona International Speedway for testing Monday and Tuesday in preparation for the Jan. 28-29 45th Rolex 24 at Daytona.

"The car -- straight off the truck -- I think went amazingly well yesterday (Monday) and we did some pretty big tests back to back," driver Patrick Long said Tuesday.

In fact, the team had such success with accomplishing its built-up test list that on Tuesday it was able focus on longer runs.

"We're here to continue the development of the Porsche-Crawford and prepare for the Rolex 24," Long said.

"We had all speed and promise last year but reliability got the better of us and that's just not typical of an Alex Job Racing team."

"We don't want those kinds of thing to haunt us next year, whether for the Rolex 24 or the season."

The AJR team, missing the Mexico City round due to budget constraints before sponsor Ruby Tuesday came on board, would end its second race -- the Rolex Series' third -- going wire-to-wire at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

When Ruby Tuesday was ready "To Go" with AJR at the April 22 Rolex Series race at Virginia International Raceway, the team was already on a roll, cutting a second at the Long Beach Grand Prix, another second at VIR and two first-place finishes after that.

Then the wheels came off, with the team undertaking another five-race series that was as to AJR as Mr. Hyde was to Dr. Jekyll -- finishing no better than 15th and scoring three races in 20th-place or worse before continuing on with another cycle of high highs and lowest of lows before season's end with Long finishing 10th in Rolex series points and teammate Mike Rockenfeller finishing fifth.

"Our early success was perhaps a little misleading and it got our hopes up a lot higher when you consider how dominant we were at the beginning.

"If you consider we worked in 2006 under different budgets that didn't allow for testing, our full first year is really going to be in 2007," Long said.

With one more race to undertake over in ALMS, Long is mum on what he'll be driving in 2007.

"I can't comment on any of that," Long said. "It's just too early. The Porsche people have so many different things going on with all their drivers so we really have a lot of things on our plate.

"The chips will fall into place as we get closer to December but for now we're just finishing out in the other series we're still in.

"I'm happy to be here. This is where I want to be. I think Grand American is a great series with Ruby Tuesday and Alex giving us a big opportunity as drivers and I'd like to return if things go well."

"Besides, the car's much improved now than the last two times we were in Daytona and that's exciting."

Well, maybe not for everyone.

-Exclusively for Motorsport.com by DC Williams

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Patrick Long , Mike Rockenfeller , Alex Job
Teams Williams , Alex Job Racing