Team West Alex Job Racing Seventh in GT at Long Beach
LONG BEACH, Calif. - The Team West/Alex Job Racing/Boardwalk Ferrari driven by Bill Sweedler and Townsend Bell finished seventh in today's running of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) presented by Tequila Patron Long Beach Grand Prix.
Sweedler (Westport, Conn.) had the wheel of the 458 GT for the start of the shortest race of the season, two hours. Enduring two Long Beach street course restarts the Westport, Conn. resident put in a strong stint running as high as third. He turned the car over to Bell (San Luis Obispo, Calif.) at the halfway mark in great shape. The Californian took over and amazingly the caution filled first half of the race gave way to green running the remainder of the event. The team posted a seventh place finish, the highest finishing Ferrari.
"It was a major improvement over Sebring," Sweedler said. "I love Long Beach. I had a good first stint. There were so many yellows. I didn't get a lot of green running. Townsend put in a good run to the finish, but unfortunately the fuel strategy we had planned didn't have a chance to play out. The car was great, which is a credit to the crew. We had some great local support from our partners WilliamRast."
Bell is happy with the way the car and team performed all weekend.
"I am very pleased with the way the team bounced right back from what happened at Sebring," Bell said. "We had good pace this weekend. The Yokohama guys gave us a good tire. On new tires we were very close. We struggled a little at the end of the long stints, but very happy with the combination. Bill put in, probably, the best drive he has yet in GT. We finished on the lead lap. The car is in one piece after racing at the concrete jungle, I call that a good weekend."
Team owner, Alex Job, had his team make a nice rebound from Sebring.
"The Long Beach ALMS race is our shortest event of the year at just two hours," Job said. "Anything can happen and usually does. Bill did a really nice job to negotiate the traffic on the restarts. He really performs well here at Long Beach. Yokohama brought a really good tire and the guys showed good speed in the car all weekend."
The team will travel to Monterey, Calif. for the American Le Mans Grand Prix of Monterey at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, May 9-11.
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 nine 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.