JUNQUEIRA PUTS JaguarRSR IN THE TOP TEN IN LONG BEACH QUALIFYING GT CLASS; GENTILOZZI CLOSE BEHIND
The JaguarRSR team hit the streets of Long Beach, California this afternoon to qualify for tomorrow's Tequila Patron American Le Mans Series at Long Beach, Round 2 of the 2011 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron. Bruno Junqueira was behind the wheel of the #99 JaguarRSR XKR GT and put it in the top ten, with Paul Gentilozzi closely behind in the #98 car finishing 11th overall in the GT field.
Long Beach is a very demanding track, teams and drivers have to be on top of their game. This is a prime place to demonstrate how much JaguarRSR has progressed in the pace relative to rest of the GT field. Junqueira only missed another position up by a couple tenths of a second, and Gentilozzi too was having a good run.
"It was a positive qualifying session, I did a couple of solid laps on the limit and we are closer to P1," commented Junqueira. "The #99 JaguarRSR XKR GT was reliable and didn't have any major issues. The balance was good and as we gain more experience with the Dunlop tires, we will only get faster. We just need to do a little more to improve the overall grip and be better in the braking zone and we should have a strong car for the race."
"I was probably too conservative, but we made a gain," said Gentilozzi on his qualifying run. "You really only get three laps to do your business; the first lap I locked the tires a little bit and because we have to race on them I got conservative. But in the end, we could have maybe made another half second or six-tenths. Overall I am satisfied, the car is running reliable and if we just keep working hard, we will make more gains."
Gentilozzi continued, "We have good fuel economy, so I am hoping that we can alter our strategy and go two different directions: one kind of an economy long run and the other a sprint and short run. Long Beach is full of surprises, in the 19 years I have been here I've seen a lot of them. So you just go racing and if you finish and don't hit anything you have a good chance of having a good day."
The race takes the green flag tomorrow at 4:30 pm PDT and will be telecast in its entirety on ESPN3.com starting at 7:15 p.m. ET/4:15 p.m. local time. ESPN2 will provide television coverage from 5 to 7 p.m. ET on Sunday, April 17. International coverage: Fox Sports Middle East (Live on Saturday, April 16); Fox Latin American Networks (Live on Saturday, April 16); MotorsTV (Tape Delayed date/time TBD).