BRASELTON, Ga. - Just as home ice helped the New Jersey Devils win the Stanley Cup a few weeks ago, David Murry is hoping that a home-track advantage will help him in the American Le Mans Series Chevy Grand Prix of Atlanta June 27-29 at Road ...
BRASELTON, Ga. - Just as home ice helped the New Jersey Devils win the Stanley Cup a few weeks ago, David Murry is hoping that a home-track advantage will help him in the American Le Mans Series Chevy Grand Prix of Atlanta June 27-29 at Road Atlanta.
Murry, who lives in nearby Cumming, Ga., will be part of an all-Georgia racing team that will contest the GT class win in the Chevy Grand Prix of Atlanta, a two-hour, 45-minute sports car event on the 12-turn Road Atlanta circuit.
The 46-year-old Murry will co-drive with 29-year-old Justin Jackson of Alpharetta, Ga., in the J3 Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RS. The team is based in Suwanee, Ga., and Murry literally has thousands of laps on the track in actual races as well as driving schools and customer programs.
"This is a home track for me," said Murry, who scored a GT class win in the American Le Mans Series in 1999 at California's Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. "I've been coming here since early '81 and know my way around a little bit. It's an advantage in less time to set the car up and less time to get yourself up to speed. But in the end, these guys are pretty good and it doesn't take them long to get going."
"These guys" refers to the other top drivers and teams in the GT class of the ALMS, one of the most competitive in any racing series in the world. The Alex Job Racing team, champion of the ALMS GT class last year, and the Orbit Racing team are just coming off of first and second, respectively, in the GT class in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
"That's what makes it so challenging," said Murry. "It's the toughest racing anywhere and if you can do well in GT you know you're going to be good because it's the hardest class to do well in. It's the most challenging and the most rewarding as well. The best Porsches in the world are in ALMS GT racing."
The J3 Racing team debuted in the American Le Mans Series in 2002 and is still looking for its first win in the series. The team's best finish of third came last year.
"A lot of doing well in these races is outright speed," said Murry. "The races are short enough but they're still long enough to make your move. Your pit stops have got to be really good as well. The outright speed of the car is going to dictate quite a bit and that's what's going to make you move up to the front."
Murry and Jackson will not only be racing other Porsches, they will also have to contend with a fleet of top-flight Ferrari 360 Modena machines and their experienced, veteran drivers in the GT class, as well as watching out for the faster Prototypes and GTS cars that are constantly passing them during the race.