Team West Alex Job Racing Prepared for Sebring
PLANO, Tex., TAVARES, Fla. (Mar. 12, 2013) - Team West/Alex Job Racing/Boardwalk Ferrari is ready to debut their new Ferrari 458 GT car at this weekend's American Le Mans Series (ALMS) presented by Tequila Patron 61st running of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring to take place Sat., March 16.
Bill Sweedler, Townsend Bell and Leh Keen have all tasted success at Sebring. Sweedler and Bell were a part of the winning GTC team last year and Keen has driven to two-pole positions and a win with AJR in 2010. The trio is anxious to put some miles on their new 458 GT around the 3.7 mile-long, 17-turn historic Sebring road course.
"I expect to have a competitive car at Sebring this week," Bell said. "The Ferrari 458 is a proven platform, and boy does it make a glorious sound! Sebring is a bumpy, long circuit that holds a lot of history in its cracks and crevasses. I really like the fast corners that bookend the track - Turns One and 17. With the car handling right, those are the type of turns that excite drivers, nearly flat and fast. We will spend the beginning of the week figuring out what our real starting point is from a performance perspective and then build from there. We have a great team carrying over from last year and with the Ferrari I hope to make a strong showing this weekend."
Sweedler is ready to take his turn behind the wheel of the Team West AJR Ferrari this week.
"I am looking forward to taking my first laps behind the wheel of the 458," Sweedler said. "We got a taste of just how tough the competition is in the GT class last year. We were able to improve our program with the addition of the Ferrari 458 and I am excited! I am looking forward to taking Turn One faster than I have ever gone through there in the past. Townsend and Leh are ready to have a good weekend and the Team West AJR guys are fired-up to have a new car work with for the year. We have our marketing partners Battery Tender, William Rast, Yokohama and Motegi back with us this season, so we are ready."
Keen helped AJR to win the GTC championship last year and this season will be making several appearances in the team's Ferrari 458 GT entry.
"I am really excited to get in the Ferrari as this will be the quickest car I've ever driven," Keen said. "I love learning and adapting to new cars. The 458 should be rock solid and a pleasure to drive. The driver's seat will be a good spot to be! Sebring has many different surface changes happening constantly throughout the lap. You need a car that is good in every aspect, on the smooth asphalt and on bumpy concrete. That is the real challenge, getting two cars in one. The most important thing is a comfortable car for 12 hours of racing. Alex and his team are real experts at endurance racing. This will be a pretty busy week with lots of goals to achieve. The first will be to shake down a practically brand-new car. Then tire test and find the perfect set of Yokohama's. We then need to get Townsend, Bill and I all in the groove with the car. And, ultimately, after a long week, put the Team West AJR Ferrari up on the podium for the 12 hours of Sebring."
Alex Job has eight wins at the Central Florida track and knows the team has a lot of work before the green flag drops on Saturday.
"We know what it takes to be successful at Sebring," Job said. "The Ferrari is a new platform for us and we will need every lap during the week to get acquainted with the car. The 458 is a proven commodity. We just need to figure out what it will need to get around Sebring on the Yokohama tires. We are excited at the challenge, and we hope to be in the thick of the GT battle come Saturday."
The 61st running of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring will be broadcast live on the Speed Channel, Mar. 16 in three segments: 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., 1 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and the finish from 10:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. Qualifying, Mar. 15, can be viewed via live streaming starting at 1:05 p.m. EDT.
Alex Job Racing is one of the most successful teams in sports car racing with 68 wins (since 1995); including two Rolex 24 GT Class wins in 1999 and 2013. 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.
The ALMS GT Class is comprised of production-based, moderately-modified, two-wheel drive race cars including the BMW Z4, Corvette C6.R, Ferrari F458 GT, Viper SRT and Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. The GT cars share many similarities to their showroom brands. With top speeds of up to 180 mph, these elite GTs produce between 450-500 horsepower and have a minimum weight of 1,145 kilograms (2,480 pounds). All GT race cars have green Leader Light System race position lights and green car numbers.