Sebring 12 Hours
JaguarRSR GETTING UP TO SPEED IN SEBRING; 2011 ALMS SEASON OPENER
SEBRING, Florida (March 18, 2011) - Qualifying for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida took place this afternoon as the 2011 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron is officially underway.
It has been a week full of hard work by the JaguarRSR crew, engineers and drivers. Participating in multiple practice sessions leading up to today's 15-minute qualifying session, the JaguarRSR XKR GT has shown tremendous improvements from its run at Sebring International Raceway last year.
Today was the first time JaguarRSR had the opportunity to use the new Dunlop tire that they will be using during the race. Since the team has to start with what (tire) they qualified on they wanted to to make sure to have plenty of tire left to maximize opportunities for race strategy. The team is still developing a data base for performance on the Dunlop tire and how to effectively utilize its potential.
It has been a very busy track at Sebring with four classes of ALMS competition totaling 56 cars. Bruno Junqueira was the qualifying driver for the #99 JaguarRSR XKR GT and recorded a lap of 2:04.260 (107.195 mph) around the permanent 3.7-mile road course. The #99 car will start 38th on a grid of 56 cars, 14th in class.
"I was very happy with my qualifying lap, it was not a perfect lap and we have shown that we can go quicker," said Junqueira. "I hope that we can have a good race; I know that starting positions are not that important in a 12 hour race. I thought that we could have been at least a half of second faster, but we are just getting used to our new tires so I think there is more speed to come in the JaguarRSR XKR GT. Finishing the race will be important for Jaguar, the drivers, and the team to get some mileage and knowledge about the car."
Qualifying the #99 XKR was P.J. Jones. He posted a lap time of 2:05.327 (106.282 mph) placing him 41st on the overall provisional grid, 16th in class.
"I got caught in traffic for a couple of laps, and the one good lap that I was able to get in had a couple of mistakes," commented Jones on this run. "We are still trying to get the balance right for us. We've made a lot of improvements since our test at the end of February and we are just lacking a little bit. We have some work to do, but really it is about running 12 hours tomorrow."
The 12 Hours of Sebring will take the green flag tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. ET. The race will be broadcast live on ESPN3.com starting at 10:00 a.m. ET and in a highlighted tape-delay show on ABC from 12:30-2:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 20.
-source: jaguar rsr