Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team qualifies sixth at Watkins Glen New Crawford DP08 bodywork pays immediate dividends TRG Finished 1-2 at Laguna Seca Last Year WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. - Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team driver Bill...
Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team qualifies sixth at Watkins Glen
New Crawford DP08 bodywork pays immediate dividends
TRG Finished 1-2 at Laguna Seca Last Year WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. - Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team driver Bill Auberlen will start from the third row in tomorrow's Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Sahlen's Six Hours Of The Glen at Watkins Glen International.
It's been an event-filled day for the entire Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team, as the drivers and the crew have worked feverishly to learn and to adjust to the newly debuted Crawford DP08 bodywork. The team only had today's two earlier practice sessions to set up the car for this afternoon's 15-minute qualifying session. And, despite the lack of track time, it appears that the new Crawford updates have paid immediate dividends.
Just four minutes into today's Daytona Prototype qualifying session, Auberlen turned the sixth fastest qualifying lap of 1:44.760 (116.838 mph) in the No. 23 Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team Porsche-powered Crawford. Unfortunately, that is when the session was black flagged to retrieve the No. 76 Pontiac Lola from the tire wall and the session never resumed.
"In terms of handling, the car feels as good as it's ever been," Auberlen said. "It is very easy to drive. The balance is a little off and we have to work on that. It's got too much rear grip for the front grip. We can fix that, but the problem is we don't have a big library to understand what fixes what. So, we are gaining that knowledge this weekend. We can't be unhappy with where we're at because we unveiled the car at the race track - nobody ever does that. I think we're doing very well for the situation we're under."
"This was only the third time that we had the car on the track," Team Owner Alex Job said after qualifying. "We qualified P6. Somebody went off and the session got black flagged. They did not get it cleared up in time to resume qualifying so I'm not sure we would have been P6 if the session would have gone the full time. But, you know, we'll take P6. It's a good starting place for the six hour race."
Auberlen will share the driving duties with teammate Joey Hand. Auberlen and Hand are not strangers to victory circle at Watkins Glen. In fact, both drivers won with the same co-driver in 2004. Auberlen won with NASCAR driver Boris Said in a PTG BMW M3 during the June race, while Hand won with Said in the sister PTG BMW M3 during the September race.