Bill Auberlen signs with Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team for 2008 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 14, 2007) -- The Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team announced today that it signed two-time Grand-Am Rolex Series champion Bill Auberlen, of ...
Bill Auberlen signs with Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team for 2008
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 14, 2007) -- The Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team announced today that it signed two-time Grand-Am Rolex Series champion Bill Auberlen, of Redondo Beach, Calif., to co-pilot its No. 23 Porsche Crawford Daytona Prototype during the 2008 Grand-Am season.
Auberlen's signing reunites him with Ruby Tuesday Team Owner Alex Job, a relationship that dates back to 1995. That year, Auberlen (and co-drivers Joe Cogbill and Charlie Slater) gave Alex Job Racing its first professional sports car win at the 12 Hours of Sebring. Arguably one of the fastest sports car drivers in North America, Auberlen is excited to be back with Job.
"My first Sebring win came with Alex, so being back with Alex and Holly [Job] and all of the guys is like being reunited with my family," Auberlen said. "I have always had a huge amount of respect for Alex. You talk to anybody in the pits, everybody has respect for Alex. I'm very happy to be back with him because I think I can win races on his team.
"I drove for Alex four times and I won with him twice. We are 50 percent in wins, but we are 100 percent in podium finishes. In 1995, my little family-run Mazda RX-7 was winning and setting records every race. We went to New Orleans and an axle broke in the practice session. The car went straight into the wall, destroyed the car. That was the last race of the season and I was going for the championship. At the time, Charlie Slater was driving for Alex Job. He stepped aside and said, 'You drive the Alex Job car.' And he drove a different Porsche. Everybody was so good back then; they all just stepped one seat sideways. The first time I drove Alex's car was in qualifying. I was dead last, then I was 13th -- that's better -- then 11th, ninth, seventh, fifth -- this isn't looking so bad, I'm getting the hang of it -- and on the last lap, I got the pole. I led the race start to finish; it was a really great way to come together with Alex."
"It is very exciting to have Bill back with my team since driving for me in the 1995 season," Job said. "The first time Bill drove for me we won the 1995 Sebring 12 hour race. It was our first major professional win. The last time he drove for me that year, we won at New Orleans. Since those wins, I have always had to race against him. Now that we have Bill back with us, we are looking forward to more success."
"We're excited about this upcoming race season with the improvements being made to the car and the commitment of Alex and the entire team," Ruby Tuesday Senior Vice President of Marketing Mark Young said. "We look forward to a great year and welcome Bill to the Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team."
Though Auberlen is currently the only driver on the Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team roster (a co-driver will be named at a later date), he already has his sights set on winning the Grand-Am Daytona Prototype championship in 2008.
"My goals for 2008 are to try to win this championship and to put every effort that I have and every ounce of my energy into winning it. We have some good people working behind the scenes and they're geared up to make our car go faster. Crawford is making every effort to make its car go to the front again. I know it takes more than the driver and the team owner or any one person -- it takes an entire team effort to make a championship happen."
The No. 23 Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team Porsche Crawford Daytona Prototype will take to the track for the first time in 2008 when the team returns to Daytona International Speedway for the January (4-6) test days, in preparation for the Rolex 24 at Daytona Jan. 26-27.