Alex Job Racing Recovers and is Ready for the Rolex 24 At Daytona Daytona Beach, Fla., (Jan. 28, 2010) - The Alex Job Racing No. 23 Foametix/Battery Tender/Porsche 997 GT3 Cup entry will start the 48th running of the Grand-Am Road Racing Series...
Alex Job Racing Recovers and is Ready for the Rolex 24 At Daytona
Daytona Beach, Fla., (Jan. 28, 2010) - The Alex Job Racing No. 23 Foametix/Battery Tender/Porsche 997 GT3 Cup entry will start the 48th running of the Grand-Am Road Racing Series Rolex 24 Hour At Daytona from the 21st starting position tomorrow. The effort did not come without a lot of work. The team experienced a near event ending crash in Thursday's practice.
Qual. 24 On lap four of the opening practice for the race weekend, Martin Ragginger went off in turn six, hitting the wall with the right rear of the Porsche. The car sustained a good amount of damage. The 23 crew had to remove the motor and take the chassis to a body shop for straightening. The team then went to their shop in Tavares, north of Orlando, to reinstall the motor and do the final assembly. The crew worked all night to get the car back to the track for the opening practice session this morning. To the team's credit, Ragginger got back in the car and turned the fastest GT lap of the morning practice session and qualified the car with a time of 1:50.298. That time would have had them 13th on the grid if they would have qualified yesterday. Team's that qualified yesterday were guaranteed the top 20 starting positions.
Although drivers Claudio Burtin, Mitch Pagerey, Jack Baldwin, Dominik Farnbacher and Martin Ragginger had limited laps they were unanimous in their comfort level with the Porsche.
"The car was very balanced," Burtin said. "The guys have been fine tuning the brakes and we ran in our race setup with full tanks. We also practiced on used tires. The car felt very stable, it is 100% after the little incident yesterday. If it rains it will be the same for everybody out there. We have very capable drivers and team, so we will be ready."
"It felt good to get acclimated in the car," Pagerey said. "The wreck was tough, we had to sit around and play the waiting game while the crew worked hard to get the car repaired. I am ready to play the supportive role that I am here for. The car performed great, the conditions are just right. As far as rain goes for tomorrow - no problem."
"The car was great, one of the best Porsches I have ever driven," Baldwin said. "The car is awesome. The crew did a great job with the repairs. I don't know if it was better before the crash, I don't know how it could be. I could have gone faster in my time in the car today, but it is all about just getting comfortable. I had a few laps in the three day test and four laps today, I am ready. You don't need that much practice here. We have Martin and Dominik to start the car off if it rains and that is their problem. I am pretty good in the rain as well, so we are ready for anything."
"The car is super," Farnbacher said. "We were the quickest in this morning's practice and we can still improve the handling a little tiny bit. Basically the rest of the car is in perfect condition. After the crash the car has come back faster than ever. We focused on getting everyone a few laps today so they can get comfortable with the way the car is setup for the race. We made some damper adjustments for the last session to really dial it in and we are ready. If it rains that really won't affect the setup. We will manage that with the sway bar adjustment in the car. Also the Porsche is a very good car in the rain. It has a sub-chassis from the street car. The tube frame cars are very stiff. Martin and I are very comfortable racing in the rain."
"Today the car was really good," Ragginger said. "The guys did a great job last night. In yesterday's practice I was running in the brakes for a couple of laps and then when I started to do a control lap, the brake bias had been changed and when I went into Turn Six it just locked up. The bias setting is the driver's responsibility, so it was my fault. The temperature outside is higher, a lot more than when we were here three weeks ago, so that is what is affecting our speed compared to the test. The car is a little bit better. We have improved the handling since the test. Dominik and I will do the start and I think we can have a good run. If it rains, we European guys will be ready to move forward. We are both very good in the rain. It will be easier for us to catch cars if it does rain. I hope you will find Dominik and me at the top of the order if it is wet."
"After a great weekend of practice earlier in the month, it came back to haunt us yesterday," Alex Job, team owner said. "That is a tough way to start a 24 hour weekend, with the crew working all night to repair crash damage from the first practice. We have contingencies for that sort of thing and we were able to get the car back 100%. When we went out today, the car was right on pace and all of the drivers are up to speed. I hope our tough luck is behind us and we miss out on a lot more sleep the next two days racing and celebrating."