WeatherTech Racing Audi R8 qualifies sixth for Rolex 24 at Daytona
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 24, 2013) - Filipe Albuquerque, of Portugal, will start the No. 24 WeatherTech Racing Audi R8 from the third row on the GT grid when the green flag drops for this weekend's 51st GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Rolex 24 at Daytona.
Albuquerque's fastest lap (1:48.282, 118.358 mph) came on his fifth trip around the 12-turn, 3.56-mile Daytona modified oval track. Overall, he was happy with the car's performance and the fact that the No. 24 WeatherTech Racing Audi was the fastest Audi in Rolex GT heading into Saturday's race.
"I really happy with the performance," Albuquerque said. "I managed to do one good lap, which is what I wanted. It was a good lap - P6. We are in front of the other Audis. I am happy with the car's performance. There's still some work to do. But, it's a good place for the 24-hour race. We are in the front leader group. That's the most important. The lap came out perfectly. That's what we needed and we saved the tires for the race.
I waited for the tire pressures to come. I didn't want to push too early or push too late. I knew when I had a shot I was a bit concerned because I was getting the slip stream. But, it was not enough to overtake on the main straight. I took some risk and I dove into corner one. For a momentum, I had some oversteer, but I managed it. It was a perfect lap. I must admit it. With the right tow, it was brilliant."
"We're real pleased about the Audi's P6," Alex Job, team owner, said. "We thought it would be tough to get in the top 10 with the Audi and it surprised us. The Audi came to us as the (tire) temperatures got warmer. That car is really good right now. We're starting sixth with this car, which is good. But, we've got more work to do with that car for the race setup. We'll see how the race shakes out Saturday afternoon."
SPEED Channel will carry live coverage of the Rolex 24 at Daytona on TV and the Internet. Live TV coverage is from 3 to 11 p.m. Jan. 26. During the overnight hours from 11 p.m. to 9 a.m. Jan. 26/27, fans can watch the race on the Internet at SPEEDTV.com. Live TV coverage resumes at 9 a.m. through the race finish Jan. 27.
The GRAND-AM GT category suits the Audi R8 GRAND-AM. The R8 features a 90º V10 engine longitudinally mounted with a displacement of 5.204 liter / 317.6 cu. in. Framing the R8 are carbon fiber and aluminum body panels with an aluminum space frame. Suspension consists of front and rear double wishbones, coil springs over hydraulic dampers with anti-roll bars. Steering is rack-and-pinion, power assisted. Stopping the R8 are ventilated steel brake discs. The gearbox is a six-speed sequential driving the rear wheels. The R8 weighs in at 1250 kilo / 2775.8 lbs.
Alex Job Racing is one of the most successful teams in sports car racing with 67 wins (since 1995), including a 1999 Rolex 24 GT Class win. This record is supported by 48 pole positions and 106 podium finishes. The team has won four championships (GTC 2012, GT in 2004, 2003 and 2002) complimented by their two GT class wins at Le Mans. The team also boasts eight Sebring 12-hour wins.
Fellow drivers Edoardo Mortara (Italy), Oliver Jarvis (England) and American Dion von Moltke (Coral Gables, Flor.) will share the driving duties at Daytona.