Team West Alex Job Racing Ninth at Lime Rock in GT
LAKEVILLE, Conn. Townsend Bell and Bill Sweedler finished the American Le Mans Series Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park in their Team West/Alex Job Racing/Boardwalk Ferrari in ninth place in GT this afternoon.
Sweedler (Westport, Conn.) started the race in the Ferrari. On lap 11 he had contact in the rear that damaged the 458s bumper cover as well as knocked the toe on the rear out of alignment making the car a handful to drive for the remaining 174 laps. Bell (San Luis Obispo, Calif.) got in the Team West/AJR Ferrari on lap 40. Trying to do an Iron Man type stint in 93-degree temperatures for over two hours, the heat in the 458 became too much and Bell had to exit the car with 40 minutes remaining as the air conditioning quit earlier in the race.
"It was brutal in the Ferrari today," Bell said. "I was up under a Porsche with an hour and half to go and there was a high pressure explosion in the front of the car. That was the AC going. Then I ran out of water and it was just miserable. I did everything I could to try and stay out, but I had to come in and put Bill back in to take it to the finish. It was a tough one today."
Sweedler would have liked a better finish at his home track.
"We had a great car at the very beginning," Sweedler said. "The Yokohama tires on the new Motegi wheels were really working well on this hot track. Unfortunately someone got into the back me, busted up the body work and knocked the toe out of alignment. The car had a high-speed oversteer and was difficult to control the rest of the race. I jumped out at 50 minutes with a bad feeling that the AC was going. Townsend tried to make a go for over two hours and ran out of the proverbial gas and I had to get back in and finish. We are already looking forward to Mosport."
Eduardo Espindola, team co-owner, knows it was a tough day.
"We had harsh conditions all week with the over 90-degree temperatures and near 100% humidity," Espindola said. "Bill and Townsend did a good job to keep a damaged car on the track and take it to the finish with near 130-degree heat inside the Ferrari."
Alex Job, team co-owner, is encouraged by the weekend.
"Although it doesn't show on the scoring sheet we had a good Ferrari here this week," Job said. "We were competitive in qualifying and the work that we have done with Yokohama looks to be paying off. We now have a stretch of races on longer natural terrain road courses that will really show where we are at with the Ferrari."
The American Le Mans Series will travel to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park for the Grand Prix of Mosport, July 19-21
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.