Alex Job Racing is in an epic fight for the GTD championship.
Alex Job Racing (AJR) may win the IMSA TUDOR United Sports Car Championship GTD class title, even though it’s quite an uphill battle since the series mistook its GTD Porsche race car for another white Porsche GTLM racer at Sebring last March. During the waning stages of the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring, the white No. 22 WeatherTech Racing received a penalty due the white No. 912 Porsche factory car and, despite realizing their error, IMSA never corrected their mistake.
Heading to COTA
Now, as teams and drivers head for the Lone Star Le Mans weekend at Circuit of the Americas (COTA), the penultimate stop in the season, co-drivers Cooper MacNeil and Leh Keen are playing catch-up, locked in a three-way tie for the GTD Drivers’ Championship with Dane Camerson from the No. 94 Turner Motorsports BMW, along with Townsend Bell and Bill Sweedler running the AIM Autosport No. 555 Ferrari F458, all holding 244 points.
There is some good news for the team as their Porsche GT-America racer has received some beneficial Balance of Performance adjustments (in the 125th competitor’s bulletin of the year with 127 total!), receiving a weight reduction of 10 kg to 1190 kg, the ability to use the permitted maximum 50 mm front splitter, the addition of a single dive plane on each side, maximum 25 mm wheel arch extension and removal of the area behind the front wheel. The refueling restrictor is now 29.0 mm, up from 28.0 mm.
With the adjustments from IMSA, “It is up to us to maximize the car’s potential for the final two rounds
Still, team owner Alex Job, arguably one of the most competent team owners (and a heck of a nice guy) in sports car racing knew from the start that this 2014 GTD championship would be a really tough one, starting from the first Daytona International Speedway test held in November of last year. “We have three strong cars and three strong teams tied for the championship with two races to go. With the adjustments from IMSA, It is up to us to maximize the car’s potential for the final two rounds,” he said. Since both the team and its drivers have been in this sort of situation in the past, “It’s nothing new to the team or the drivers.”
With the five-way tie, it’s going to be whoever doesn’t make any mistakes
For their part, the drivers are up for the challenge, with MacNeil hoping to better his sixth place result in 2013 at COTA. “With the five-way tie, it’s going to be whoever doesn’t make any mistakes,” he notes, fully realizing the championship should go down the to the finale at Petit Le Mans at the end of the month. Keen believes AJR has “the best car going into the last two races of the season. We will really have to get a little more aggressive now for the championship win, but still can’t risk too much at COTA. “If we get through COTA with a good result, we will really be poised for the championship win,” Keen stated.
So this team’s uphill battle to recover from a penalty they didn’t merit continues and provides a great story line for the final two races of the year. IMSA’s 2 hour and 45-minute competition on COTA’s 3.4-mile serpentine road course starts at 12:30PM EDT on Saturday, September 20th and can be seen on Fox Sports2. There are 51 entries with fully 20 of them in the GTD class.