Lime Rock Park
A Double Top-Ten Effort For JaguarRSR At Lime Rock
Within the first hour of the American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park, JaguarRSR had both XKR GTs running in the top ten, but only one would take the checkered flag after the #98 was hit by another car ending its day prematurely.
After Bruno Junqueira qualified 11th in the GT field, Cristiano Da Matta took the green flag behind the wheel of the #99 JaguarRSR XKR GT. He drove a short stint and Junqueira jumped in for a long run moving up the field to seventh. Da Matta returned to the cockpit to run another energized stint before returning the car to Junqueira for the sprint to the finish. Unfortunately a failed electronics sensor required another stop for repair leading to a 12th place result.
"I think that we had a lot of good changes on the #99 JaguarRSR XKR GT; it was much faster," said Junqueira. "I am quite happy about that. Unfortunately we had some electrical problems in the car that lost a lot of time fixing those because we could have had a good result and get some points. It was good to finish though and at times during the stint we were able run times very close to the leaders. I had a great opportunity to run behind one of the BMW's, and was able to keep the same pace. So we are getting there, we are very close."
Da Matta was also happy about the car's performance on track. "Considering that Bruno and I had to learn the track and we had such a short time of on-track running before the race, I think we were able to get a good race car for today," said Da Matta. "It was unfortunate that we had some electrical issues that set us back, but I think the balance was good and all the work the team did during the break definitely is showed in our effort today. We look forward to our next race to continue moving forward and I know we have what it takes."
PJ Jones qualified the #98 car, which started 14th on the grid, and drove it to take the green flag this afternoon. Early on he made his way up to eighth and was having a good race until he was involved in an on-track incident.
"We had a great start," said Jones. "We were running eighth in class and just cruising, trying to stay out of trouble. In regards to the incident, I am not really sure what happened. We were going into a corner and I was trying to get by a GTC car that was on the inside of me, I guess there was a car on the inside of him and maybe they made contact. I don't really know. I just know all of a sudden I am getting hit and I was turned around. I do know that I held my line so I don't feel it was anything I did. Unfortunately we weren't able to make repairs in time to get back into the fight."
After the incident, Jones was able to drive the car back to the pits but upon further inspection a broken steering component would lead to its early retirement.
"Today we got a glimpse of what we can achieve with the combination of our hard work over the break and our excellent Dunlop tires," said Paul Gentilozzi, JaguarRSR Principal Partner. "Unfortunately things did not go our way and the results didn't demonstrate our genuine potential, but we look forward to Mosport and giving our loyal Canadian fans a great show."
The team will have a short break before heading north of the border for the Mobil 1 presents the Grand Prix of Mosport, July 24.