Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team qualifies seventh for GAINSCO Grand Prix of Miami HOMESTEAD, Fla. - Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team driver Bill Auberlen qualified seventh for tomorrow's Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by...
Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team qualifies seventh for GAINSCO Grand Prix of Miami
HOMESTEAD, Fla. - Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team driver Bill Auberlen qualified seventh for tomorrow's Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 Round Two race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, as part of the GAINSCO Grand Prix of Miami.
Piloting the No. 23 Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team Porsche-powered Crawford, Auberlen was briefly atop the leaderboard early in the 15-minute Daytona Prototype qualifying session. But, as Auberlen continued to fight a loose handling race car, he could only manage to turn the seventh quickest lap time of 1:14.091 (111.754 mph).
"We made a big setup change right before qualifying," Auberlen said. "When you're sitting in the truck, you say, 'We've got nothing to lose because we are a little ways off.' Now that we're done with qualifying you say, 'Well, I wish maybe we did not go so far' [with the changes]. But, we had to explore those changes. It was the right move, but I think we overshot in a lot of areas. The car is very different now. I think it was the first time all weekend that we've gone the wrong direction. None of us are very happy with seventh. It's not where we want to be. It's not where we belong. But, we've got to keep our heads up and keep fighting."
"Qualifying is a bit of a disappointment," Team Owner Alex Job said. "We qualified seventh. We really expected to qualify much better than that. Unfortunately, we went the wrong direction this time. The car was worse instead of better. The car is very loose. But, we had to throw something pretty big at it for qualifying. Now that we know a lot more, we can make a change in a different direction and make it better for the race."
Auberlen, who is the defending Grand Prix of Miami race winner, will co-drive with teammate Joey Hand for the 250-mile (109-lap) event. Job's team won this race two years ago with Mike Rockenfeller and Patrick Long. Between Auberlen and Job, they've won the previous two races in Miami.