Alex Job Racing tried just about everything possible to stuff Jorg Bergmeister into its No. 23 Ruby Tuesday Porsche-Crawford at the Rolex Series' Dec. 5-6 Homestead-Miami Speedway test. Ultimately, "I just didn't fit," the 2006 Daytona Prototype...
Alex Job Racing tried just about everything possible to stuff Jorg Bergmeister into its No. 23 Ruby Tuesday Porsche-Crawford at the Rolex Series' Dec. 5-6 Homestead-Miami Speedway test.
Ultimately, "I just didn't fit," the 2006 Daytona Prototype driving champ said after two days of unsuccessful attempts at trying to shoehorn the lanky, tall Leverkusen, Germany-native into the car.
After the test - during which the Ruby Tuesday crew and driver Patrick Long would post a fast time less than 3/10ths off the test's fastest pace set by Finlay Motorsports' No. 19 Ford-Crawford - the team headed to the AJR shop in Tavares, Fla., for another go at finding more room for Bergmeister.
"Despite their best efforts at Homestead, I couldn't get comfortable so they're going to try to get me a little more room for me and the best place to try is at their shop."
So, after winning the 2006 driving championship with Krohn Racing, why's Bergmeister over at Alex Job Racing?
First of all, it feels like home.
Teamed with Timo Bernhard in 2004, Bergmeister would help bring a third- consecutive ALMS GT2 (nee GT) team championship title to Alex Job Racing.
"I would've won the driving title had I not missed the first race (at Sebring)," Bergmeister lamented. "I had been ill but felt good enough to drive but they wouldn't let me."
The second reason: Porsche.
It's what Alex Job Racing seems to know best and likely as well as anyone.
"Porsche has been a big part of my racing life," the former Porsche factory driver said.
A couple seasons back, having a more drivers than it needed to meet its racing commitments, the European car manufacturer faced a quandary and Bergmeister would be the one who most felt the squeeze and was given his walking papers.
"Of course, at the time I would've preferred to stay with Porsche but I understood their situation. So, when such things happen you've got a choice: either languish in misery of make the most of whatever you have."
For the most part left to find his own way, Bergmeister would join the Krohn Racing/TRG team in 2005, take the Phoenix race with co-driver Emerson Fittipaldi and finish seventh in driver points by season's end.
Then, in 2006, car owner Tracy Krohn would separate from Kevin Buckler's TRG, starting his own team headed by Jeff Hazel.
"Actually, I didn't think we had a chance at a championship because it was a new team," Bergmeister said.
"It wasn't that the people in the team weren't talented - I expected to win a race or two; I'm a race car driver, after all - it's just that championships generally aren't something new teams usually win."
Bergmeister would win the 2006 Rolex Series' Daytona Prototype driving championship.
"I'm a big believer in things happening for a reason," he said.
Though having tested at HMS with Ruby Tuesday, Bergmeister is nonetheless officially out of a job.
"I'm to meet with Porsche in Germany on Dec. 18. I hope they offer me a contract but I really don't know if they will. It would be nice to be back at Porsche."
Asked if he felt as though some sort of justice had been served to Porsche in the wake of firing him two seasons ago, Bergmeister said," No, because I understood their situation."
"They also helped me to get my driving job at (Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Racing)," he said. "So I don't hold any ill feelings toward them."
"But, I'm a German and I am proud to be associated with a German Automobile maker, you know?"
Yep, most people would understand that point of view. Let's hope Porsche does, too.
- Written Exclusively for Motorsprot.com by DC Williams