Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team to debut Riley chassis at Barber TAVARES, Fla. (July 9, 2008) -- The Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team today announced that it will campaign a Riley chassis for the remainder of the 2008 Grand-Am...
Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team to debut Riley chassis at Barber
TAVARES, Fla. (July 9, 2008) -- The Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team today announced that it will campaign a Riley chassis for the remainder of the 2008 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series season beginning with the round nine race at Barber Motorsports Park on July 18-20.
After more than two and a half seasons running a Crawford chassis, Team Owner Alex Job decided it was time to move in a different direction.
In the past three seasons, the Riley chassis has won 33 (of 36) races. In fact, the Riley chassis has won 17 straight races dating back to the June Watkins Glen race last year.
It is difficult to argue against the Riley's performance. The Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing team believes that in order to be competitive in the best road racing series in North America, now is the time to make a switch with only six races remaining.
The car is the former No. 47 TruSpeed Motorsports Porsche Riley that finished eighth in the 2007 Rolex 24 at Daytona. Both Bill Auberlen and Joey Hand are not only excited about making the switch to this Riley, but also having the opportunity to make their debut in it at Barber.
"I am totally elated," Auberlen said. "I think everyone involved is really excited about going to Barber with a Riley chassis. It's been a long time since I've been this happy. You have no idea how much I am looking forward to this.
"I think there will be a tiny learning curve. But, we have a lot of great people involved. You can't set the expectations too high right away because we are coming in with something brand new to us and something that others have had all year. With that being said, I think we'll get the hang of it fairly quickly. As much as I say we need to be realistic about our expectations, my expectation is to be on the podium at the end of that race.
"I like Barber and its Joey's favorite track. We're going to a place where that guy is going to take charge and go after it. If the team does exactly what the team has done all year and the Riley performs the way I think it will, we should have some really great finishes.
"This is big news for us," Hand said enthusiastically. "Right away this puts us on an even playing field and I am very happy about that. I think moving to the Riley is the right thing to do and Bill and I are 100 percent behind this decision. Now we feel that we are going to be really competitive and have a shot to win right away.
"We have six races left and it's go time. As a driver, you are always looking to finish the season well. Barber is my favorite racetrack. I am really excited about going to Barber with a Riley. I have really good speed there. I won there in a GT car in 2005 and I've always been in contention to win there."
The decision to switch from the Crawford to the Riley was a difficult one for Job to make. In 2006, Alex Job Racing moved from the ALMS to Grand-Am with a full-time Daytona Prototype program that featured a Crawford chassis with a Porsche power plant. In just his first year of Grand-Am competition, Job's team won two races, had seven podium finishes and eight top-10 finishes. Given Job's early success with the Crawford, it is easy to see why it would be difficult to make a change. However, even though Job has won three DP races with a Crawford, including Laguna last year, a Riley has won the last 17 straight.
For the past 20 years, the name Alex Job Racing has been synonymous with winning races. With that being said, Job decided it was time to make a switch to a proven race package that would return his team to the top step of the podium.
"First of all, I would really like to thank Max Crawford and all of the fine people at Crawford Race Cars for the help and support they've given us over the past two and a half years. This was not an easy decision for me to make. But, unfortunately, the new Crawford body needs more development and testing and our team is not in a position to do this in the middle of a race season. We want to have a shot at winning now. So, after a lot of careful thought, it just made sense to make the switch now.
"I can't thank TruSpeed Motorsports enough for helping make it possible for us to run a Riley. We agreed on a deal that works well for everyone. Because the car has not run since the Daytona race last year, we will have to update it. But, that's fine with us. We will just be very busy over the next seven days to get the car ready for Barber. With that in mind, Bill Riley has also agreed to come to our shop to help us in prepping the car. And, for that, I am thankful that he will be here to help us out.
"In addition I really want to thank Ruby Tuesday and Porsche for their continued support of Alex Job Racing. We could not be doing this without their support. My hope is to turn our program around very quickly and get the results that we have all hoped for.
"I am so excited about the new direction we are headed in. Given the crew and drivers we have, I believe that we will be on the podium very soon. I really can't wait to get to Barber."