JaguarRSR BACK ON TRACK IN UTAH EAST LANSING, Michigan (July 8, 2010) - The JaguarRSR team returns to American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron competition after a six week break since the last event in Monterrey, California. After ...
JaguarRSR BACK ON TRACK IN UTAH
EAST LANSING, Michigan (July 8, 2010) - The JaguarRSR team returns to American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron competition after a six week break since the last event in Monterrey, California. After working out issues that occurred during the team's last run at Le Mans, the return to competition is anticipated by both team and drivers as they gear up for Round 4 at Miller Motorsports Park, July 9-11.
Until Petit Le Mans, the remainder of the races will be 2 hours and 45 minutes. The driver lineup for this weekend's ALMS GT event for JaguarRSR will be regulars Marc Goossens and Ryan Dalziel. Both drivers have had their share of experience in sportscar competition at the Tooele, Utah venue. The course has four possible configurations: East, West, Full, and Perimeter course. The duo has experienced the Full Course previously while competing in the Grand-Am series, but this weekend will give them a new challenge as the ALMS is scheduled to run the Perimeter course. The 3.06-mile course (also called the Outer Course) eliminates the infield section and is one of the fastest track layouts in North America.
This will be Goossens fourth start at Miller Motorsports Park and he has one win under his belt from 2007 in the Grand-Am Series. Dalziel will also be making his fourth start, his best finish was second - finishing runner up to now teammate Goossens in 2007.
The RSR team recently competed at Miller Motorsports Park for the first time a few weeks ago running a two-car effort in the SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am Series. That resulted in a podium finish with Tomy Drissi taking second. in a Jaguar XKR The team hopes to carry that momentum over to the Jaguar GT program as they continue to get up to speed with the #75 JaguarRSR XKR GT. This weekend will mark the XKR GT's sixth start.
The team will take to the track on Friday as part of the Promoter Test Day before the race weekend officially kicks off on Saturday, July 10. There will be two practice sessions on Saturday before qualifying at 2:55 p.m. MDT for the GT and GTC classes. The Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix takes the green flag at 2:35 p.m. local time.
WHAT THE DRIVERS HAVE TO SAY
Ryan Dalziel, co-Driver of the #75 JaguarRSR XKR GT
"I love Miller Motorsports Park and I cannot wait to get behind the wheel of the #75 JaguarRSR XKR GT again. We had a really difficult time in France and I know the team has put in many late nights making sure that things run smoothly in Utah. I know we are getting really close to where we ultimately want to see the Jaguar, and that's at the front of the field. I have had mixed success at Miller Motorsports Park in previous years. My first year there was in 2006 and we retired out of the lead with a suspension failure. My engineer that race was actually Burke Harrison who is the JaguarRSR race engineer this year, so I know he knows what it takes to be fast around there. 2007 saw a second place finish to my Jaguar RSR teammate, Marc Goossens, so hopefully our combined experience around there can get us up front."
Marc Goossens, co-Driver of the #75 JaguarRSR XKR GT
"I look forward to a new challenge at Miller Motorsports Park, not only driving the Perimeter Course, but doing so in the Jaguar XKR GT. The grip level is not very high at this track, so during the practice sessions we will be doing a lot of work on finding mechanical grip because we don't want too much areo on the car because of the long straightaways. It is very typical for any given track; we need to get track time, build on lap times, and try to make our tire work by finding the right mechanical balance. It is going to be the same challenge for everybody, I don't think a lot are going to find good grip in the beginning of sessions, but towards the end of the weekend there will be more layers of rubber on the track and life becomes a little easier. We have as much of a chance as anyone else if we can get up to speed early on, and each time we get out there we make gains. I am looking forward to a positive weekend so we can keep moving forward with the XKR GT and towards the front of the field."
LAP AROUND MILLER MOTORSPORTS PARK by Marc Goossens
I have never driven on this configuration, but that doesn't mean I don't know the corners. I have been doing the full course every time I have raced here, so far. It is like 23 turns, verses 15 for the Outer Course. But here is a preview:
Heading into Turn 1 the straightaway is so long that it is very important to brake late and keep your high speed up as long as you can. On the other hand, it is very typical for this track is that sometimes it is very windy there and there is a lot of sand, and even salt, next to the track. When that comes onto the track it makes it very difficult because there is only one racing line. If you overshoot your braking into Turn 1 you can lose momentum through Turns 2, 3 and 4 - but it is very important to keep that momentum going because they are very fluid corners. Turn 4 is very important because you have to line up for the fairly long straight up towards Turn 5.
Turn 5 by itself is a pretty straightforward low speed corner, probably for us in second gear. The hard part there is that it is very bumpy for us under breaking, where again it is hard to miss the apex on the inside of the track simply because you can get off line if you out brake yourself because of the bumps. The tricky part is really the braking zone; if you get that right and you get to the apex it is important to have a good exit out of Turn 5. Exiting the corner you move off to the right on the track and then you have to cross over to the left, so if you don't have a good exit there another car behind you could actually overtake you by going on the inside breaking into Turn 6.
Once again braking for Turn 6 is very important so you can get your speed all the way up for the chicane. Coming out of Turn 6, you stay to the left because the connecting point between Turn 7 and 8 seems to be a very fast corner. Then you go up hill towards the chicane, Turn 8, and the hard part there again is to try not to overshoot the braking area. This is easy to do because you are actually going up the hill towards the chicane and it flattens out about 50 meters prior to the corner, so you get the impression like 'ok I can brake pretty late here' but then all of a sudden your car is flat and not going up a hill anymore and it is easy to overshoot. The chicane, Turns 8, 9 and 10 are pretty straightforward, going left, right, left. The hard part of it is the last left hander of it, Turn 10, as it causes a lot of understeer because the track is dropping down towards the exit of the corner which means that there is a lateral downhill movement in the car so the car can get out of balance. It is important to keep partial throttle along there to keep traction in the car and to create more stability in the car.
Turn 11 is a pretty difficult corner as on the apex there is a dip, which makes it hard to keep the car on the track on the exit. It seems to be a turn that you can go through very fast, but the fact of the dip on the left-hand side makes a lot of people run very wide on exit. It is one of those curb stones that you don't want to get onto because it is either easier to stay inside the curb stones on the track or chances are fairly high that you will end up in the gravel on the outside there. For that matter, that whole section seems to get pretty dirty during the race, which could cause some drama for other people that have to go through the sand that is being put on the track by the other cars.
You go through the Kink which is Turn 12 accelerating up to Turn 13, which is a pretty straightforward left-hand turn. You are trying to carry as much momentum as you can through this one, brake late and keep the momentum up. It is very important to position yourself right, sort of in the middle of the track, for your braking zone for Turn 14. That is one of those slow hairpins, where there is not much time to gain, but if you overdrive the car it is easy to lose time there and not being able to position yourself in the right spot for Turn 15. This is probably one of those most important corners on the track; it is not an easy one. It is one that keeps on turning to the left; it is almost like a never-ending turn. Hitting the apex at the right spot is very important here because once you go on power there it is a pretty long straightaway and your top speed at the end of the straightaway prior to Turn 1 is very important for lap time again.
The good thing on this track is that it seemed to be if you end up in the gravel, a lot of people seem to get out of it too - it is not one of those gravel traps where you get stuck. But that causes a lot of dirt on the track. I have seen races there where they have gone the whole distance without any caution periods and I have seen other races where there have been a lot of yellow flags for the simple reason that at one point the track got too dirty and a lot of cars seem to be going off because of it. It is very important to keep your concentration here, especially because there is only one racing line and everything else next to it is pretty dirty so you can't afford to put a wheel wrong.
FOLLOW THE RACE
The Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix from Miller Motorsports Park is a 2 hour and 45 minute race set for 2:35 p.m. MDT on Sunday, July 11. SPEED will broadcast the event live from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. EST on Sunday, July 11. Live radio coverage will be available on American Le Mans Radio presented by Porsche - a production of Radio Show Limited - as well as Sirius Channel 127 and XM Channel 242. Visit the Series' schedule page for ticket and accommodation information. Live Timing and Scoring, track schedule, entry list and much, much more will be available on Racehub at americanlemans.com.
International coverage: MotorsTV - tape delayed on Sunday, July 18 beginning at 4:45 pm (UK); 5:45 pm CET.