Alex Job Racing Second in GTC at Miller Tooele, UT, (July 11, 2010), Alex Job Racing's (AJR) Juan Gonzalez and Butch Leitzinger finished second in GTC in today's running of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) presented by Tequila Patron Larry ...
Alex Job Racing Second in GTC at Miller
Tooele, UT, (July 11, 2010), Alex Job Racing's (AJR) Juan Gonzalez and Butch Leitzinger finished second in GTC in today's running of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) presented by Tequila Patron Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix. The duo has a four race podium streak going so far this season.
Gonzalez, Leitzinger podium Starting from the ninth position on the GTC grid, Juan Gonzalez drove a solid first stint handing the No. 81 Mission Foods/Alex Job Racing/Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car over to Butch Leitzinger in fifth place. Leitzinger proceeded to lock horns with the No. 63 car, challenging for second, for his entire stint until lap 76 when both cars pitted together. The AJR crew got Leitzinger out first, overtaking the 63 in the pits and he proceeded to bring the car home in second.
"It was unbelievable," Juan Gonzalez said. "We qualified in the ninth position because of a shock problem. I wanted to make sure to do a safe stint and stay out of trouble. The guys fixed the car from qualifying and it was perfect. I did good lap times and wanted to give the car to Butch with everything left. Another great day,"
"It was a very good run today," Leitzinger said. "The team did a great job with strategy, pit stops and the car. We were able to overcome the problems that we had in qualifying yesterday. It is one step from perfect, but very good. We are very happy with it way it turned out. Once again Juan was very solid at the start and the race came to us and we took full advantage."
Bill Sweedler started the No. 23 Battery Tender/Tequila Patron/Alex Job Racing/Porsche 911 GT3 Cup entry from his eighth place starting position and began picking off the competition from the drop of the green flag. On lap six, running second, Sweedler was heading into Turn Six and came upon a slow moving GT car and was struck from behind by the AJR 80 car. The damage caused a flat tire forcing him to limp around for repairs going down two laps. Kapudija took over and just logged as many laps as possible trying to salvage as many points as possible.
"We had a really good car," Sweedler said. "At the start I was able to make up several positions at the start. I was in second position in class. I then got caught up behind a slower GT car that checked up in turn six and we got bunched up behind and I got hit from behind by my teammate Ricardo. He had nowhere to go and I think he was hit as well. We had to pit and change the tire and we went back out two laps down."
"It was a tough day for the 23 guys," Kapudija said. "Unfortunately we have had two tough races now that are really thrown away from being hit from behind. We need some luck. The guys put together a great car and Bill was doing an excellent job to move through the field. When I got in the car the steering had six-inches of play, it was tough to drive. I kept going to try and salvage as many points as possible."
Ricardo Gonzalez started the No. 80 Car Amigo/Alex Job Racing/Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car and was running strong in third place. Like the 23, the 80 car was involved in the Turn Six incident which caused substantial damage to the Porsche resulting in the car being retired on lap six.
"It's very disappointing," Ricardo Gonzalez said. "We were very optimistic for this race, we had a very productive week of testing and then Luis did a great job qualifying our No. 80 Porsche in the third position. At the start of the race we were running third and just taking it easy. Everybody got kind of bottled up coming into Turn Six and I saw a gap and went for it. The No. 23 car came down on me, hit me and broke my front suspension. It was a very aggressive move and I want to think that he just didn't see me because there was no reason to do that so early in the race. It's a shame, but all we can do now is move on to the next one, we've already proven we have the speed now we just need to get the results."
"It's very frustrating when you have such high hopes for a race and you don't even get to drive," Diaz said. "We knew we had a great shot here because we were fast and Ricardo and me together are definitely one of the strongest driver combinations out there. But we didn't even get to show it today. This is going to hurt us in the points but all we can do now is look forward and try to win some races to get back in the hunt."
Alex Job, team owner, comes away from the weekend with mixed emotions.
"Juan and Butch had another very solid run. Juan did a great job at the start and Butch was able to continue to move the car to the front and finish in second. As a car owner the worst thing that can happen is to have two of your cars come together in the race. We had that today with the 23 and the 80 and that cost both cars a lot of points. Bill had a very solid start and Ricardo was running in third, so our day looked very positive on lap five, only to go south on lap six."
Round five of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron will be run at Lime Rock Park on July 24.