Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team prepares for Mexico City 250 MEXICO CITY - The Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team completes first day of Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 practice today, in...
Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team prepares for Mexico City 250
MEXICO CITY - The Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team completes first day of Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 practice today, in preparation for the Mexico City 250 April 17-19 at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.
Drivers Joey Hand and Bill Auberlen spent most of both one hour practice sessions providing feedback on various setup changes to improve the No. 23 Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team Porsche-powered Crawford Daytona Prototype. A combination the high altitude and a dirty race track had the Ruby Tuesday team searching for the right car setup.
"On the smooth parts of the circuit, the car is competitive," Auberlen said. "But, on the bumpy parts, we've got a lot of work to do. The team is working very hard and making a lot of changes. The car, in my opinion, is getting better. At the end of the last session, we now have a mechanical issue somewhere [in the rear of the car]. We don't know exactly what it is yet. But, I know the guys will find the problem. This will set us back a bit. Now, we've got to go look at the data. The car looks like it's catching up faster than the whole field is running away, which is good. We'll be O.K."
"We are down a little bit on speed right now," team owner Alex Job said. "We're not where we want to be. I think we were 10th in the last session. There is something wrong with the rear of the car and it just broke. We've got to take it to the garage and find out what it is. We've done a lot of work on the car. It is a lot different from the car that we had at Homestead. We've just got to find the right setup."
Prior to today's practice, Hand had never turned a lap on the 2.5-mile, 14-turn Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez road course. Despite his lack of track time and fighting a cold, Hand still turned the team's fastest lap today with a 1:21.725 (110.125 mph).
"Today was all about getting use to the racetrack," Hand said. "I went out first and it was really dirty, which is pretty typical here. It's a fun racetrack. I predict it's going to be tough to pass some of the GT cars and get through traffic, which could make this kind of a dirty race. I think there is going to be some bumping and banging to get through traffic. But, who knows what will happen.
"I went out again this afternoon and something happened to the car. I either spun the car or we had something fail and I spun the car. We don't really know yet. But, we were on a new tire run [when I spun]. The car went really well on new tires. So, I guess we've just got to keep it on new tires."
Through the first two rounds, Auberlen and Hand are fifth in the Daytona Prototype driver point standings with 48 points (22 points behind leaders Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas). The Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team is also fifth in the Daytona Prototype team point standings with 48 points.