Keen and Bell have Tough Road America in Team West/AJR Ferrari
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. - Leh Keen and Townsend Bell had a tough race with the No. 23 Team West/Alex Job Racing/Boardwalk Ferrari in today's running of the American Le Mans Series Orion Energy Systems at Road America.
Bell (San Luis Obispo, Calif.) had the wheel of the No. 23 Team West/AJR Ferrari on a wet track with rain Yokohama tires mounted on the 458. Forced to start from the back of the grid as the previous day's qualifying time was disallowed, Bell had ground to make up. As the track began to dry and strategy began to unfold, Bell called in with a loud header noise on lap 14. He pitted the red and white Ferrari only to have the crew take it behind the wall for repairs, which eventually ended the day without Keen (Charleston, SC) ever getting behind the wheel.
"It was a tough day," Bell said. "I was making my way back up through the field after starting last on the grid. I had made it up to fifth in GT when the engine note changed and the power decreased. I brought it to the pits, the guys took it to the trailer and it, unfortunately, ended our day. We had a good car and it would have been nice to see what might have unfolded."
Eduardo Espindola, team co-owner, is looking forward to Baltimore.
"A tough weekend all around," Espindola said. "We had a great qualifying effort, that was called back and then to not finish the race, just put a period on our tough weekend. I am looking forward to Baltimore in three weeks. Anything can happen on a street course."
Alex Job, team co-owner, is ready to move to the next event as well.
"When Townsend called in with the header it was disappointing," Job said. "We were able to get the car fixed, but by the time we did we were beyond the 70% mark of the race and it did not make sense to come back out and just run needless laps. We go away knowing that we have a good car and I still have a smile on my face about Leh's qualifying run."
The American Le Mans Series will travel to Maryland for the Grand Prix of Baltimore to run Aug. 30-31.
Alex Job Racing is one of the most successful teams in sports car racing with 70 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.