Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team completes two-day test at Daytona DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 15, 2007) -- Teams are already gearing up for the 2008 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series' season and the Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team was...
Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team completes two-day test at Daytona
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 15, 2007) -- Teams are already gearing up for the 2008 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series' season and the Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team was one of 19 Daytona Prototype teams to participate in the two-day test session at Daytona International Speedway.
One day after announcing that two-time Grand-Am Rolex Series champion Bill Auberlen, of Redondo Beach, Calif., will co-pilot the No. 23 Porsche Crawford Daytona Prototype, the team completed a successful test that garnered a wealth of information the team can use heading into the January Daytona Test.
"I am elated to be here with Alex [Job] and all the guys," Auberlen said. "I think were getting to know each other again after all of these years. The crew seems to be phenomenal. They seem to know their stuff.
"We need to do a little homework on this car in the off-season, which is a high priority for Alex and Crawford. I'm sure they are going to get the bits and the pieces to make this into a front-running car. I know that Alex will get the job done -- he always has. He's a proven winner. I think the team is going to put a lot on Crawford's shoulder to develop their car -- to come up with all the new parts that have already been approved by Grand-Am. Can you imagine if we've got the best car in the field and we're the only ones out there [running it]? We're going to look like we're the smartest ones out there.
"Regardless of the new body, it is going to be about how to deal with the new Pirelli tire. What does this Pirelli tire want? We did a lot of damper work -- from Sachs to Penske. We didn't do a lot with the springs, but we did a ton with sway bars. You just have to find out what the tire wants. When we get the new bodywork on the car, it is going to be completely different."
"My first impression of the test days is that we've got a little work to do," Team Owner Alex Job said. "We've got a good race car, but we don't have a fast enough car. The car can race at a really good pace based on what we finished at today. We're off the pace a bit relative to the fastest cars. We've got some work to do to find some more speed. The new Pirellis are considerably quicker than the Hoosiers. We saw some record times. We did go quicker than we did with the Hoosiers, but everyone did. The good thing is we found a good race car and that is encouraging, but we've got to find some more speed.
In addition to Auberlen, drivers Joey Hand, of Sacramento, Calif., and Jan Heylen, of Belgium, took a turn behind the wheel of the No. 23 machine. Both Hand and Heylen turned in impressive performances.
"Yesterday it was interesting, we put Jan in [the car] then put Joey in," Job said of the two drivers who also tested in the car. "Their input was definitely good because any time you put another driver in the car you get input. Jan, coming from Champ Car, had some good input. Joey, having had some DP experience and ALMS experience, it was good to get his input. We were able to put Jan in for a little bit today. This was not only Jan's first time in a DP, but also the first time at Daytona. Both drivers' input was good. It backed up a lot of what Bill was saying about the car. They both had great performances and all of that looks good.
"Now, we've got to go home and we've got to dig-in, analyze all of our data, and do our home work. Then, we need to figure out what our best course of action is when we come back in the first week of January. By then, we will also know who Bill's season-long teammate will be, as well as who his co-drivers will be for the Daytona 24 hour."