Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team qualifies 11th for Mexico City 250
MEXICO CITY - Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team driver Bill Auberlen will start 11th in tomorrow's Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 Mexico City 250.
The team has struggled to find the right car setup this weekend. But, with the team's help, Auberlen managed to get the most out of the No. 23 Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team Porsche-powered Crawford Daytona Prototype. Five laps into the 20-minute qualifying session, Auberlen turned the team's quickest lap all weekend with a 1:21.252 (110.767 mph) around the 2.5-mile, 14-turn Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez road course.
"It's been a tough weekend for us," Auberlen said after qualifying. "We are really having a tough time. I think we are missing some downforce, which will hook the car up tighter through the Esses. Also, we need to get an understanding of the shock absorbers over the bumps in the Esses. Those two things combined is where we are loosing all of our time.
"But, you've got to look at where the strengths are in this team. The team is going to find the problem and make it better. And, their pit stop strategy is the best. These are the strengths we've got to rely on here. Joey [Hand] and I have got to keep it [the car] out of trouble and get out of here with some points. We've also got to pray that Crawford gets us the new updates quick.
"I am not happy with qualifying," team owner Alex Job said. "We just don't have the car well-balanced. That was the best Bill could do with the car. Now, we've got to do some more work and try to make it better for the race. What really counts is the race and not qualifying. Clearly it's a confidence booster when you qualify well. Even though we've went faster in qualifying than we have all weekend, so did everyone else. We've got to make the car better for the race."
Through the first two rounds, Auberlen and Hand are fifth in the Daytona Prototype driver point standings with 48 points (22 points behind leaders Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas). The Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team is also fifth in the Daytona Prototype team point standings with 48 points.