Auberlen and Hand look to give Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team its first win at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve TAVARES, Fla. - Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team drivers Bill Auberlen and Joey Hand are set to win their first race of the ...
Auberlen and Hand look to give Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team its first win at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve
TAVARES, Fla. - Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team drivers Bill Auberlen and Joey Hand are set to win their first race of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series season when the team heads north of the border July 31-Aug. 2 to compete on the historic Circuit Gilles Villeneuve racetrack in Montreal.
There are three reasons to believe the team is primed to capture its first win of the season. First, the team acquired a Riley chassis just days before the race at Barber Motorsports Park and not only made it race-ready, but also made it an immediate contender just seven days before its first race. Second, in its debut, it took Auberlen and Hand only 57 laps to drive the newly acquired No. 23 Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team Porsche-powered Riley to the front. Third, the team used a recent Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series sponsored test session to learn more about its new car and in the process turned some very fast lap times. In fact, its fastest lap time would have put the No. 23 machine on the outside pole for the Barber race. All of these signs demonstrate the team is primed for its first victory.
"We've got the new Riley, so my expectations going into Montreal are to win," Hand said. "There are no real excuses for Bill and me. We still have more to learn with this car. But, we showed some good speed at Barber and the test day after the Barber race went really well. So, I think we are going to be contenders in Montreal. We should be in the top-five in every session. I am pretty excited."
"This is the most excited I've been about a race in a long time," Team Owner Alex Job said. "I am extremely proud of my team and how hard they've worked this season - especially in the last two months. I've asked them to learn and improve two different car platforms during that time. But, that is what race-winning teams do. They work hard. They learn everything they can in a short amount of time, make the necessary improvements, and then implement them. And, that is just what they've done.
"For example, it only took my crew about two weeks to go from taking possession of our Riley and making the necessary changes to get it ready for Barber - to leading the race - and then to almost being the fastest car during the Barber test. Remember, this was a car that we knew very little about and one that had not been driven in more than a year. When a team can make those kinds of adjustments in a short amount of time, we have every reason to believe that we can win heading into Montreal."
Rolex Series practice gets underway with three one-hour practices beginning at 12:30 p.m. (ET), Thursday, July 31. There will be a 30-minute break between each practice session. The 15-minute Daytona Prototype qualifying session starts at 1:15 p.m., Friday, Aug. 1, followed by the Round 10 race beginning at 4:15 p.m. Friday's race is same day tape-delayed and will air at 8 p.m. (ET) on SPEED. However, race fans can watch live timing and scoring at www.grand-am.com.