Alex Job Racing Salvages a Fourth in GTC at Road America Elkhart Lake, Wis., (Aug. 22, 2010), Alex Job Racing's (AJR) Bill Sweedler and Romeo Kapudija raced to a hard fought fourth place in today's running of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS)...
Alex Job Racing Salvages a Fourth in GTC at Road America
Elkhart Lake, Wis., (Aug. 22, 2010), Alex Job Racing's (AJR) Bill Sweedler and Romeo Kapudija raced to a hard fought fourth place in today's running of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) presented by Tequila Patron Powered by eStart sports car race at Road America.
Romeo Kapudija wasted little time getting the No. 23 Battery Tender/Tequila Patron Porsche to the front of the GTC field - twice. Kapudija was able to make solid passes on the first three circuits to take the lead briefly on lap four. On the same lap going into Turn Ten he had a lazy spin at the exit, but was able to gather it up and return to the fray in seventh. Seven laps later he was able to take the lead again and held it until lap 32 when he turned the black and green 997 over to Bill Sweedler.
Sweedler had difficulty firing the Battery Tender/Tequila Patron Porsche after fuel and tires. The over exuberant AJR crew flew into action and Sweedler rejoined the field in fourth. As a result of having one too many crew over the wall the team incurred a drive-thru plus 20-second penalty, costing valuable track position and the possibility of a podium finish.
"We had a great car today," Sweedler said. "It is too bad that we had a little bit of bad luck. A little bit will kill you in this class because the competition is so close. Romeo did a great job to bring the car up to the front early on in the race. We pitted from the lead and had a little mechanical with the car. I hit the ignition button and the starter was just spinning, not engaging the fly wheel. It is tough. You want to go, you want to go and you are seeing the other cars leave and we could not get out. We finally got it running and I was able to move up. We were penalized because we needed some crew help to get the car started. That was bitter sweet for us. The AJR crew did a great job on the car all weekend. We will keep our heads up and go on to Mosport next week."
Kapudija had a good run early in the car leading a total of 12 laps in GTC.
"I got a little gravel on the tires and pushed too hard and looped it at the exit of Turn Ten," Kapudija said. "I was able to keep it on the track and kept going. We had the speed in the car so I could catch them and pass for the lead once again. I held the lead with flat spotted tires, the Yokohama's really held up. Unfortunately when I pitted the car it would not re-fire for Bill. He did a great stint. He was turning fast and consistent lap times. We were hoping at the end that a few cars in front of us would have needed fuel, but they didn't. The team did a great job with the car and we are looking forward to next weekend."
Alex Job, team owner, had his team on top at the beginning of the race and then had them fighting back after the pit road penalty
"Romeo and Bill did a great job behind the wheel," Job said. "They both ran their best laps during the race and really settled into the pace. They both also led laps today. When Bill went to leave the starter wouldn't engage so our crew went into action attempting to rock the car and get the starter to catch. Our crew member with the fire extinguisher was also over the wall just in case and that put us over on the crew count and cost us track position and a possible podium finish. I like the way the team came back from qualifying to lead laps. We can take that positive aspect forward in seven days to Mosport."
The American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron travels to Mosport International Raceway on Sunday, August 29 for their penultimate round.