Daytona 24: AJR/Emory race report

Alex Job Racing/Emory Motorsports Finishes Third at Daytona 24 Daytona Beach, Florida -- Alex Job Racing/Emory Motorsports capped an emotional Grand American Rolex Series presented by Crown Royal Reserve Rolex 24 Hour at Daytona with a third...

Alex Job Racing/Emory Motorsports Finishes Third at Daytona 24

Daytona Beach, Florida -- Alex Job Racing/Emory Motorsports capped an emotional Grand American Rolex Series presented by Crown Royal Reserve Rolex 24 Hour at Daytona with a third place finish.

Starting from pole position, the local team from Taveres wasted no time in stamping their mark at the front of the field. Soon after the start the Achilles heal of the weekend appeared, in the form of a broken rear seal on the cars right half shaft.

Following the first half shaft change on lap 55 the team went seven laps down after leading. Drivers Patrick Long, Lucas Luhr and Mike Rockenfeller set out to make up what appeared to be an in surmountable deficit. Not so. The three Porsche factory drivers drove the number 23/Alex Job Racing/Emory Motorsports/Porsche/Crawford in 110% sprint mode. Long set fast lap of the race at approximately 10:30 p.m. with a time of 1:44.299. Luhr and Rockenfeller ran laps in the one-minute-and-forty-four range all through the night and into the day until they retook the lead of the race on lap 486 at 4:15 a.m.

The car cruised in the lead the rest of the early morning hours until the sun came up, bringing with it the second axle failure. Once again the drivers were forced to push the Crawford/Porsche, but 24 hours was not enough to make up the debit.

Patrick Long: "The Porsche engine ran flawless. Combined with the Crawford chassis we were the class of the field. We were definitely in sprint mode since our first problem. Porsche doesn't have their excellent reputation at Daytona by coincidence. The car stayed under us the whole race; we would just adjust on the bars and the bias. Really it was us against the clock."

Mike Rockenfeller: We could not have run any harder. When we had our problem we set out to go as fast as we could to make up the time. We were the quickest over the 24 hours, but in endurance racing you also need some luck. We drove our hearts out. The team worked hard and showed everyone what this car and this team can do in Daytona Prototypes."

Lucas Luhr: "We are disappointed. We made a great fight with the problems we were dealt. We had a fast car and some bad luck. The speed of the car and the drivers was able to overcome the first drive shaft problem, but not the second. I don't think that we made a single mistake on the track; no one had any significant contact or off track driving. Without the axle problems we would have been Rolex's now."

Alex Job: "We had the fastest drivers and car as well as two pieces of bad luck. The axle problems really bite us today. The team was able to overcome the first axle failure, but the second one sealed our fate off of the top step of the podium. The Porsche motor ran great and Max Crawford and his team built us a great car. I am proud of the effort we put forth, things that were out of our control did us in today."

The team's Daytona effort is 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 , Mike Rockenfeller , Rod Emory , Alex Job
Teams Alex Job Racing