Alex Job Racing Heads to Streets of Long Beach to Defend
Alex Job Racing (AJR) is headed to the streets of Long Beach with drivers Leh Keen and Bill Sweedler to defend their American Le Mans Series (ALMS) presented by Tequila Patron GTC class win from last year. The Long Beach Grand Prix will take the green flag on Saturday, April 16.
The team is ready to get back on the winning track with their No. 23 Battery Tender/Robert Graham/William Rast/AJR/Porsche after a very tough Sebring 12 Hours last month. With just about every freak thing that could go wrong in the race
Keen and Sweedler are ready to turn their luck around. Last year AJR went one-three in the GTC class race and the duo is looking to repeat this Saturday.
"This is the shortest race of the year in the ALMS," Sweedler said. "This race will be an all-out sprint coupled with the complication that three other faster classes will also be in their own sprint race. As with all street circuits, you need to focus on every inch of the track surface and try to "erase" the fact that you are surrounded by concrete from your mind!
After leading the GTC class last year for the majority of the race, it would be great to pull out a win this weekend. We know the AJR team will not let us down with the car and in the pits, so Leh and myself need to be mistake free to make it happen!
Long Beach is an iconic road course. It really is the Monaco equivalent here in the United States. The fans are amazing in southern California and as an added bonus our sponsors, Battery Tender, William Rast, and Robert Graham do a lot of business in the area. We expect lots of AJR fans for this race. I really like the entire layout, the circuit has such fluidity, but I particularly like the section from Turn Two through Turn Five. This part of the track is so narrow that you feel as though you are on a bobsled run!"
I have never raced Long Beach, but love the challenge of a new track.
Leh Keen will be making his first Long Beach laps this weekend. The pole sitter from Sebring is doing his homework with team data and ready to learn a new circuit.
"I have never raced Long Beach, but love the challenge of a new track," Keen said. "It always pushes me to learn fast which is exciting for me. I have raced a true street course before and really enjoyed it. You have to be much more precise because the track is MUCH less forgiving. I am really looking forward to this race and being back with AJR in the Battery Tender Porsche. Bill had a great race here last year finishing second and there is only one place to go from there.
I think the balance of the car leans more towards the wall and risk as the race goes on. Track position is important, so we will see how it all plays out. It's exciting for drivers and fans. I would like to bring the Alex Job Porsche home without a scratch to victory lane! But a couple scrapes on the sides of the mirrors won't be the worst thing in the world, as long as we win."
Team owner Alex Job comes into southern California looking to get his team back to the front of the pack.
"Everyone on the team is ready to rebound from Sebring," Job said. "We had a very good run last year, going one-three in the race with two of our three cars. The race is a tough one as it is only two-hours long. That makes strategy key and we will have to have a solid plan going into the race. Leh will be racing there for the first time and Bill was in the second place car last year. We have great data from last year so we are ready to hit the track fast right off of the truck."
The ALMS Long Beach Grand Prix can be viewed live on ESPN3.com, starting at 1:15 p.m. ET, Saturday, April 16 and the TV replay will run on ESPN2 at 5 p.m. ET, Sunday, April 17.