Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team makes its Riley debut at Barber Motorsports Park BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The No. 23 Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team Porsche-powered Riley Daytona Prototype turned in a solid performance in its debut during...
Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team makes its Riley debut at Barber Motorsports Park
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The No. 23 Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team Porsche-powered Riley Daytona Prototype turned in a solid performance in its debut during today's Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series practice sessions at Barber Motorsports Park.
Driver Bill Auberlen spent most of this morning's practice session running in the top-five. In fact, it took just eight laps for Auberlen to hit the fifth quickest time early in the session. This is a spot he would hold for the remainder of the combined DP and GT practice before handing the car over to teammate Joey Hand to start the DP only session.
"The guys have worked really hard." Auberlen said. "This is what Ruby Tuesday needed. I feel bad for having to make the change from Crawford to Riley, but I am sure that it will only be a matter of time before that car is a front runner again. But, the problem is we simply did not have the time to wait. We need to give Ruby Tuesday a good performance. This team is capable of winning today and it shows. We brought this thing out of the box and didn't know which way to turn a screw yet and it was in the top-five in both sessions.
"In the first session, we had to stop early because we had an oil leak. In the second session, we were fifth until the last lap and wound up sixth. Greg [Fordahl] and all of the guys are doing a great job. I can't thank Alex enough. I know he is really hanging it out there to do this and he has brought us a great car. We just needed the tools to go out there and show what this team can do and now we've got it."
While Hand's DP only session was cut short this morning due to an oil leak issue, Hand drove the entire afternoon practice session and spent most of it getting reacquainted with the Riley (he drove a BMW Riley in two races last season). Late in the session, he turned the team's best time of the day with a 1:22.630 (100.206 mph), which was good enough for sixth quickest in the session.
"I think we are on par for where I thought we'd be," Hand said after his session. "I was hoping we'd be in the top-five and we were right there until the end (of the session). I think we are 'racey' right now even though we still need to make a few changes. We are shooting for a top-five and anything better than that would be great."
"We expected a learning curve with learning this new car," Team Owner Alex Job said. "But, we are happy with the results so far. Bill Riley has been very good to us and gave us all the information he could, which has helped us get up to speed quickly. Between, Bill's help, the drivers, and the incredibly hard work from the team over the past six days, I am pretty pleased with being sixth quickest and the third quickest Riley (in the afternoon session)."