Road America: JMB Racing race report

Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. JMB Racing USA suffered from a disappointing day Sunday at the Road America 500 presented by the Chicago Tribune in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Misfortune struck, as both Ferrari 360 Modena GTs were forced to retire from...

Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. JMB Racing USA suffered from a disappointing day Sunday at the Road America 500 presented by the Chicago Tribune in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Misfortune struck, as both Ferrari 360 Modena GTs were forced to retire from the race due to an electrical failure related to the gearbox.

Three weeks ago in Trois-Rivieres, JMB Racing USA crashed out of what was looking to be their first podium finish. Then last week in Mosport, Iradj Alexander spun out of the race from third position and got stuck in the gravel, losing several laps. This week, as many of the top GT teams were plagued with problems, JMB Racing USA again fell victim of bad luck and was unable to finish.

After a less than par performance in qualifying, the team opted to change tire compounds which meant that their qualifying time was disallowed and both cars had to start from the back of the pack. Iradj Alexander, who started the #28 car, and Philip Shearer who started the #29 quickly began picking up positions and moving towards the front.

Turning some of the quickest lap times he had gone all weekend, Alexander and the Dyson car of Butch Leitzinger came together in turn 5 forcing the #28 off the track. Alexander promptly came into the pits for a damage evaluation of the car and was sent on his way after everything appeared to be unhurt, once again placing him at the rear of the field.

Prior to and following the incident, Alexander was running the same lap speeds as the cars at the front of the GT field, and gaining 2 seconds a lap on the competitors ahead of him. Unfortunately, it was all for naught as the electronics that control the gearbox failed. Almost simultaneously, the #29 car suffered from the same electrical problem, and was forced to retire as well.

"The team had a real disappointing day today", stated Alexander. "We made a risky choice of changing tires compounds after qualifying and it really paid off as the set-up was the best it's been all weekend. I was able to put the car wherever I wanted it. It's too bad we had this misfortune today, and were not able to capitalize."

The next round of the American Le Mans Series will be run in two weeks time at Laguna Seca in Monterey California on Sunday, September 7, 2003.

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Series ALMS
Drivers Butch Leitzinger , Alexander Iradj