Sebring 12 Hours
JaguarRSR SHOWS DURABILITY AND POTENTIAL IN SEBRING 12 HOUR CONTEST
SEBRING, Florida (March 19, 2011) - The first race of the 2011 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron season is under the belt of the JaguarRSR team, with both JaguarRSR XKR GTs taking the green and, half a day later, the checkered flag in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida.
With P.J. Jones behind the wheel of the #98 JaguarRSR XKR GT at the start in the 17th position in class, early contact caused damage to the bodywork but did not take the car out of contention. The team tried to conserve its Dunlop tires and the three drivers (Jones, Kenny Wilden and Rocky Moran, Jr.) did a great job getting the car through all 12 hours of its first endurance race. The #98 car ran as high as 9th with times one half second faster than their qualifying pace. Moran took the checkered flag to bring the XKR home 13th in class.
It wasn't the easiest of beginnings for the #99 car. After qualifying 38th overall of 56 cars, 14th in class, Bruno Junqueira was the starting driver when about 20 laps in to the event the alternator failed. "We thought it would be an easy fix," said JaguarRSR Principal Partner Paul Gentilozzi. "However, when we got the car back to the garage we found that it did more damage than that as we discovered it burned the entire harness. We had to replaced electrical wiring and power controls throughout the entire car. When were fortunate to get the car back out there it was running well. We wanted to make our efforts worthwhile and take the checkered flag."
Cristiano da Matta had the opportunity to complete some laps when the car returned to the track and Oriol Seriva was the driver that took it to the checkered flag to finish 17th in class.
"It is another milestone for the JaguarRSR XKR GT and the team. We ran for 12-hours overcoming three on track contacts resulting in body damage and two flat tires causing on track delays. We obtained so much valuable data and demonstrated that we have come a long way from our rookie season. It might not be the result we wanted on the timing and scoring sheet, but our main goal was to finish the 12-hour race."
This is a solid start to the team's sophomore season in the ALMS. It shows promise and potential for what is to come in the next 8 of 9 rounds. With a few weeks off before the next round - the Tequila Patron American Le Mans Series at Long Beach, April 16 - the team will head back to its East Lansing, Michigan-based shop, regroup and refresh to move on to the Long Beach event.