AJR/Emory Daytona 24 retrospective

Alex Job Racing/Emory Motorsports Reflect on Daytona 24 Searching for Funding to Run for DP Championship Tavares, Florida -- Alex Job Racing/Emory Motorsports are taking stock of their third place finish in the Grand American Rolex Series ...

Alex Job Racing/Emory Motorsports Reflect on Daytona 24
Searching for Funding to Run for DP Championship

Tavares, Florida -- Alex Job Racing/Emory Motorsports are taking stock of their third place finish in the Grand American Rolex Series presented by Crown Royal Reserve Rolex 24 Hour at Daytona.

The "new kid on the block" in the Daytona Prototype category, the Alex Job crew brought an unproven package, the Porsche powered Crawford to Daytona and proved a point â^a" the car, the team, the drivers and the crew can be a force to be reckoned with at the front of the grid in prototype racing.

"We received the car at the end of November and made it to the Homestead test," said Alex Job. "We were fast right off of the trailer. We had a lot of faith in our homework to run the Crawford with Porsche power, but you are never really sure until you hit the track with everyone else out there. At the Daytona practice days in early January we knew for sure that we were going to be a threat in the race."

The team recorded the fastest time at the January test, a speedy 1:43.431 and an average speed of 123 mph. This time proved to be the fastest lap of the test days and race weekend. "Leaving the practice in January, we were fast but we were not without worry. We did not have full confidence in the drop gear setup. We had a meeting with Crawford and together with Xtrac they went back and redesigned the part, in between the practice and the race, in just about 10 days. They were able to get us a part on January 21st and we went and tested at Moroso on the Monday before the race. Crawford, with everything on their plate going into the 24, really came through for us even though we are new customers."

The team was able to go back for the race weekend and backup their front of the pack position by pacing every practice session, save for two, the fourth session they did not participate and the last practice as they were doing installation laps to check a new engine. To further emphasize the strength of the team, Lucas Luhr put the number 23/Alex Job Racing/Emory Motorsports/Shred-it/XM Satellite Radio Vici Racing/Crawford/Porsche on pole with a time of 1:44.009.

"Going into qualifying we knew we had a shot at the pole," continued Job. "However during the practice days each driver does not get very many laps and the sessions were often stopped with black flags, so we sent Lucas Luhr out with our hopes of the pole. He did a great job to win the day, the car reacted and all the pieces fell into place."

Earlier that day, the team had to repair a right inner boot for the first time. "After looking at the half-shaft on Thursday, we knew we now had a problem. The boot that holds in the lubricant had gone through a specification change from an orange boot to a black one. We have a lot faith in the orange boot as that was the part we used in all our testing." This inexpensive piece cost the team a 24 hour win.

Luhr was able to lead the first 20 laps of the race before pitting to hand over to Rockenfeller. On lap 74 the young German Porsche factory driver had to pit for the first rear half shaft change. "At this point we took the opportunity to change both of them as well as doing our brake pad service," said Job. Rockenfeller returned some seven laps down. The driving trio was undeterred by their deficit.

On lap 107 at 4:06 p.m. the team wanted to adjust the onboard computer. The cable was prematurely pulled without the full data exchange and the car reverted to safe mode triggering the pit speed limiter switch. The result was Long doing a lap at pit speed â^a" 35 mph. This caused the team to bring the car back to the pits and complete the data exchange, losing two laps.

By 2:45 a.m., on lap 444 Luhr had stormed back to second place. At 4:15 a.m. Rockenfeller, who earlier had to garage the car for the half-shaft change, battled for the lead and took it back on lap 486.

In the early morning hours, on lap 556, as the sun came up, Patrick Long reported a vibration in the rear at high speed. The team reviewed the car, sending the young Californian back out, just to have the half shaft fail on lap 557 in the tri-oval. The team pitted the car to once again satisfy the cars appetite for half-shafts, again a right inner boot failure. This deficit proved insurmountable sealing the team's third place finish.

"The speed we showed in the race I attribute to a list of things; the right chassis and engine combination, good strategy, a strong team preparing the car, the strongest combined driver lineup and we never really missed a beat except for the axle boots and computer glitch. This was one of the most important races in our team's history," exclaimed Job. "It is the first time that we have run in the prototype category with the chance at an overall victory. Although we had a strong podium finish, it was disappointing not to win with the effort we put forth. We were up and then down, battled back to the top and went down again, only to give it one more shot for the win. We came to Daytona an unknown in the Daytona Prototype category and left with a lot of teams talking about our performance. As far as the remainder of the Grand Am schedule goes, we are actively seeking funding to race the full calendar."

The team's Daytona effort was sponsored by Shred-it; the world's leading on site document destruction company and XM Satellite Radio Vici Racing. The team will also feature partners adidas, Bell Micro, Florida Choice Bank, 10th and M Seafoods, ProVest, BBS and charity Limbs for Life.

Alex Job Racing and Emory Motorsports

Alex Job will provide the technical experience, research and development and team management that have won Alex Job Racing many races and championships. Rod Emory will provide the development and management of marketing and hospitality for sponsors and partners which has been the benchmark of success for Emory Motorsports.

-ajr/emory-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Lucas Luhr , Patrick Long , Rod Emory , Alex Job
Teams Alex Job Racing