Sebring: JaguarRSR preview

JaguarRSR'S CAT READY TO ATTACK IN SEBRING; 2010 ALMS SEASON OPENER Team ready to put up a fight in a tough 2010 GT battle in the American Le Mans Series EAST LANSING, MI (March 15, 2010) - The JaguarRSR race team is set to make its ...

JaguarRSR'S CAT READY TO ATTACK IN SEBRING; 2010 ALMS SEASON OPENER

Team ready to put up a fight in a tough 2010 GT battle in the American Le Mans Series

EAST LANSING, MI (March 15, 2010) - The JaguarRSR race team is set to make its Sebring debut with the JaguarRSR XKR GT this weekend in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron season opener, the 58th Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Fresh From Florida.

Facing tough competition from factory backed BMW, Corvette, Ferrari and Porsche teams, JaguarRSR enters its first full-season effort in the ALMS. JaguarRSR has reserved number 75 in honor of Jaguar's 75th anniversary of the Jaguar name and 75 years looking forward, designing and building cars that represent the very best of technical innovation, design leadership and sporting success.

Driving the #75 JaguarRSR XKR GT will be Marc Goossens from Belgium and Scotland's Ryan Dalziel, who can almost call this a home race as he resides in Orlando, Florida. With Sebring being one of the longer endurance events this season, JaguarRSR Principal Partner and driver Paul Gentilozzi has been slotted as the third driver for the team's entry this weekend.

1992 was the last time Gentilozzi's team won the 12 hours of Sebring in a Bob Riley designed car. The team won the 1992 GTO Drivers' and Manufacturers' Championship and the 1992 and 1993 GTS Manufacturers' Championship, second in GTS Drivers' points in 1993. Gentilozzi's return this year continues that relationship as Bob and Bill Riley's Riley Technologies company will be joining the team to further the development program of the new JaguarRSR XKR GT.

Incidentally, the #75 JaguarRSR XKR GT will not be the only Jaguar on track this weekend. The field for the 58th Annual Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Fresh From Florida will be paced by a production based XKR, as Jaguar also serves as the Official Car of Sebring International Raceway.

The team will take to the track on Monday, the first of a three-day promoter test before the race weekend officially kicks off on Thursday, March 18. There will be three practice sessions on Thursday and qualifying will be held on Friday at 1:50 p.m. ET for the GT and GTC classes. The 58th running of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida takes the green flag at 10:30 am on Saturday, March 20th, kicking-off the 2010 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron.

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NOTES AND QUOTES

Ryan Dalziel, co-Driver of the #75 JaguarRSR XKR GT

* 2010 marks Dalziel's second season of competition in the ALMS. In 2005, he competed in the ALMS GT1 Class with Pacific Coast Motorsport. Making seven ALMS starts, the team earned five top-ten finishes, one GT1 Class podium (3rd - Portland).

* This weekend will mark Dalziel's second start in the Twelve Hours of Sebring. In 2005 he competed with Pacific Coast Motorsport driving a Corvette C5-R and finished 10th overall, 6th in the GT1 Class.

* Although Dalziel is a native of Scotland, this race will be considered a "home race" for him as he resides in Orlando, Florida, where he has been living for the past five years. His wife, Jessica, is from the Sebring/Lake Placid area, so he will have a lot of family and friends at the track this weekend cheering him on.

* Dalziel is the 2010 24 Hours of Daytona Winner.

"I think everybody including all of the drivers love starting off the season at Sebring in the famed 12 hour race. We have many internationally famous, talented drivers turn up for this event, so it is always exciting to have the opportunity to compete with them. I think in particular, it is going to be a very strong GT field with more manufacturers and more cars than we have seen in previous years. Going into this season opener for the American Le Mans Series with JaguarRSR, I am hoping that we can represent the brand well against the competitors.

Personally, I am so excited to get back to Sebring for the 12hour. I have only had the opportunity to drive in this race once back in 2005 and I have missed not being involved since then. I remember being blown away at the huge crowds and the energy inside the track. Not only for race day, but the whole week leading up to it. Getting to go back to Sebring driving for JaguarRSR is very special and I know that we will have many Jaguar fans there, looking for us to mix it up with the likes of Porsche, BMW, Ferrari and Corvette. Hopefully we give them something to cheer about."

Paul Gentilozzi, co-Driver of the #75 JaguarRSR XKR GT

* A five time Trans-Am Series Champion, Gentilozzi will wear multiple hats for the team, as not only the owner but also one of the three drivers designated to run at the 12 Hours of Sebring.

* Gentilozzi won the GTS class at the 1992 Twelve Hours of Sebring.

* Gentilozzi won the overall pole position at Sebring in 1994.

* This will be Gentilozzi's first start in the ALMS, but has previously raced in IMSA GTS and GTO competition. He earned nine IMSA poles and eight IMSA victories. He finished second in GTO points in 1992 and won the 1992 GTO, 1992 and 1993 GTS Manufacturers' Championships for Oldsmobile.

* Gentilozzi has raced at Sebring 16 times and earned two wins in Trans-Am competition and one IMSA GTO victory.

"The 12 hours of Sebring is part of the world's culture for sports car racing. Each sport has its cornerstone events that define history. In the world of endurance sports car racing we have two of those in our series, the 24 hours of LeMans and the 12 Hours of Sebring. These races are respected for their technical and competitive challenges as being world class. It has been 47 years since a Jaguar has won at Sebring; we are working to change that.

The challenge of Sebring is not a one dimensional consideration. Twelve hours on the Sebring track equals twenty four hours at any of the other famous tracks in the world. The track design, historical pavement conditions, fog, campfire smoke and grueling pace make it a special challenge. Having competed there over the last thirty years I have learned that taming it is out of the question, a peaceful co-existence and luck are the requirement for success."

Marc Goossens, co-Driver of the #75 JaguarRSR XKR GT

* Although Goossens has competed in ALMS competition in the past, this will be his first full-season ALMS effort.

* This will be the fifth start for Goossens in the 12 Hours of Sebring. His first race was in 2002 with Jim Matthews Racing and he finished 3rd overall in a Riley & Scott - Elan LMP1 machine. His last race here was in 2008 when he drove for LG Motorsport in a Corvette GT2.

* Goossens is a native of Belgium, the only driver racing this weekend from his country.

* Goossens was asked to join the JaguarRSR team for the debut of the new JaguarRSR XKR GT racer at the 2009 Petit Le Mans, and piloted the big cat to its first green flag during the ALMS season finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

"The American Le Mans Series is a very good series. The GT class is very competitive, especially this year, because there are so many different car manufacturers competing against each other. I am proud to be representing JaguarRSR. We are a new team to this series so we have a very big challenge ahead of us. Most of our competitors have been racing in the ALMS for several years now; they have a lot of experience and have been able to really develop their cars. But I believe in the Jaguar brand, the RSR team has a great group of people that have a lot of experience in racing, so I know we can be competitive and we are going to work very hard to be on top.

2002 was a pretty good year for me at this event. We ended up being on top of the podium next to a factory Audi and the Champion Audi. Being a smaller team, private team, not having the same equipment as a factory team it was an accomplishment to be on the podium. The 12 Hours of Sebring is just one of those legendary races, historical place to go to. It is always fun to be racing at Sebring."

LAP AROUND SEBRING INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY by Marc Goossens

Driving out of pit lane you have to make sure you get a good look in your mirrors because there are a lot of cars approaching Turn 1 which is a blind, very fast corner. It is pretty tricky when you go out there on cold tires. Other than that, Turn 1 is pretty straight forward. There is only one good racing line through there and it is pretty bumpy, which throws the car off a little bit towards the exit of the corner. Therefore your racing line needs to be correct because if not, you will be running wide on exit. It is almost like a street circuit because there is a concrete wall on the inside and you have no tire wall in front of it or anything so if you turn in a little too early, you risk hitting the wall.

It says Turn 2 on the track map, but it isn't really a turn but more like a straightline braking into Turn 3. Turns 3, 4, and 5 are called the Carousel for the simple reason that it is a very smooth combination of left, right, left turns but you keep the flow going, keep the momentum through those corners because the exit of Turn 5 is important. As you accelerate towards Turn 6 it is actually a straight line so you go up to sixth gear so you get decent speed out of the car there. The most important thing is the braking for the Hairpin, Turn 7. The braking area is really important here and you will find that many people find it hard to accelerate as the exit of Turn 7 is very tight before you accelerate up to Turns 8 and 9, which is an easy flat zone - the Fangio Chicane.

It is very difficult braking into Cunningham Corner, Turn 10. The center of this corner on the apex is a little off camber, so it is very important to get your braking right in order to position your car on the inside to then accelerate successfully through Turn 11. If the car is setup well and your tires can still hold up you can go through Turn 11 flat out, full throttle. Towards the end of a stint when your tires are worn you still stay on the throttle but you short shift through the gears to not create any oversteer in the car through that turn.

Turn 13 is very similar to Turn 10, again braking is very important, positioning the car you actually go through the middle of the turn to head into the straightaway accelerating through Turn 14 up to 15 - it is very fast there, you are hitting sixth gear so the exit of Turn 13 is very important because of that long straightaway that follows. Turn 15 is not the most difficult corner of the track, in our case it is down three gears. You try to keep your speed and momentum up through the apex of Turn 15. There is not too much time that can be gained between 15 and 16. But the exit of Turn 16 is important because it leads onto the very long Ulmann straight.

Then we get to the final turn, 17, which is a little bit blind going in because you can't really see the apex of the corner. There are multiple lines through there and you will see that there are cars that have an early entry and there are other cars that enter the turn a little later trying to go a little harder on the power on the exit. Again it is a bumpy area, especially around the center of the corner where you got the most lock on the steering wheel. There is a huge bump which can un-settle the car if your not careful. The exit of that corner is almost as important as braking into it because of the Start/Finish straightaway. Turn 17 is probably one of the most important turns of the whole track.

FOLLOW THE RACE

The American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron will open its 12th season with America's greatest sports car race, the 58th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida from March 17-20. The green flag will fall at 10:30 a.m. ET on Saturday, March 20 with live coverage on SPEED starting at 10 a.m. ET. Live coverage also will be available on American Le Mans Radio, as well as Sirius Channel 127 and XM Channel 245. Live Timing and Scoring, track schedule, entry list and much, much more will be available on Racehub at americanlemans.com.

-source: jaguarRSR

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Ryan Dalziel , Marc Goossens , Paul Gentilozzi , Jim Matthews , Bob Riley