CHARTING THE PROGRESSION OF ROBERTSON RACING The progression of the Robertson Racing GT2 program has been fantastic to witness in the American Le Mans Series. Now the team is going global with its entry into this weekend's ...
CHARTING THE PROGRESSION OF ROBERTSON RACING
The progression of the Robertson Racing GT2 program has been fantastic to witness in the American Le Mans Series. Now the team is going global with its entry into this weekend's inaugural Asian Le Mans Series event in Okayama, Japan. In the team's first race outside the boundaries of North America, David Murry and wife-husband duo of team owners Andrea and David Robertson will pilot the Ford GT MK7.
The team - managed by Dick Barbour Racing and operated out of its headquarters in Braselton, Ga. - has made noteworthy competitive strides since debuting the Ford GT at the 2008 12 Hours of Sebring. The car was five seconds off the pace of the class leaders during the event, but the continued refinement on all aspects of the car led to a GT2 pole position at Road Atlanta's Petit Le Mans powered by MAZDA6 a month ago. Murry delivered one of the biggest surprises of the season by beating out factory and works-supported efforts from Porsche, Ferrari, Corvette, BMW and others.
"It really has been a complete and total effort by everyone on the team," said Dick Barbour, whose previous teams have won both prototype and GT championships in the American Le Mans Series. "David (Murry) is so experienced and proving that he is still very, very good. I honestly believe we have a product that, overall, is just as good as any other team. In addition, I think our pit work has been competitive with anyone, just judging by the times."
"Also, David and Andrea have been able to see how things evolve and change over the course of a few seasons, and they've become more competitive as a result."
Murry - whose career has included stints with factory teams from Porsche, Nissan and BMW (just to name a few) - says the team's work ethic is the primary reason for the improvement.
"If you look at it, we've had a year-and-a-half to get where we are today," Murry said. "We don't have the outside factory support or funding so we've had to work extremely hard to get here. We've been chasing a moving target because the factory supported teams aren't standing still; we've had to work even harder than most teams. We would do some development work, then think 'Wow we're almost there' and then everyone else would be faster at the next race.
"I've driven quite a bit as a Porsche factory driver in the past and I know how all that works, but that's the great thing about this series - its how the team performs on the track," he added. "They (the factory teams) might have the technologies and the funding but it shows that it's so close; if you work hard, you can compete with these teams on the same level."
PIT NOTES: This week marked the US launch of the video game Forza Motorsport 3, which features heavy doses of American Le Mans Series content. More IMSA-era cars are available to players as well as four American Le Mans Series tracks. ... The 2009 season saw 25 drivers make their first start in the American Le Mans Series. There also were 10 first- time winners. ... Advance ticket sales for the upcoming 58th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring are up more than 10 percent compared to 2009. For more, visit sebringraceway.com.