Sweedler and Bell to Start Team West/AJR Ferrari from Sixth Row in Baltimore

Ferrari Qual Balt

BALTIMORE - Bill Sweedler and Townsend Bell will start the American Le Mans Series Grand Prix of Baltimore from the sixth row in their No. 23 Team West/Alex Job Racing/Boardwalk Ferrari 458 tomorrow afternoon.

Bell (San Luis Obispo, Calif.) had the controls of the Team West/AJR Ferrari for qualifying. The Californian posted a time of 1:31.494 good for eleventh on the GT grid. The 2.02-mile, 12-turn temporary Baltimore street circuit surrounds Camden Yards, home of the Baltimore Orioles baseball team, has the GT field very tight on the time sheet. Teammate Bill Sweedler (Westport, Conn.) is returning to the team from a two race absence.

"The car is handling really well," Bell said. "We are soft in a couple areas right now with grip and a torque deficit. The whole GT field is separated by 1.7-seconds, which will get even tighter in the race tomorrow. The Team West/AJR guys do a great job to prepare the car. We never like being at the back, but we will play it safe and take advantage of every opportunity in the race tomorrow. The speed through the chicane goes up in direct proportion to which the damage to your floor goes down. There is quite a bit of time there if you can get it just right as the tires that line it keep moving."

Sweedler is glad to be back behind the wheel of the 458 GT this weekend.

"It is good to be back with Townsend and the team," Sweedler said. "I really like street racing and Baltimore is a real challenge. It is similar to Long Beach, which I really like, so I am comfortable in the concrete confines. Yokohama has a good tire under the car, we just need a little more help on the power and torque curve to get us on a more equal level playing field with the rest of the GT competitors. The Team West/AJR team has the car handling great. Tomorrow we need to run a clean race and really be on our toes in the pits and with our strategy."

Eduardo Espindola, team co-owner, likes the prospects for Baltimore.

"Anything can happen and usually does in a street race," Espindola said. "Bill and Townsend have a good record with street races and I am looking forward to an exciting race tomorrow. We have some ground to make up, but with our pit work and poise we can have a good day."

Alex Job, team co-owner, is ready for a good race.

"The GT field is very tight," Job said. "Passing will be difficult tomorrow and there will probably be more than a few incidents. We need to run a smart race on the track and in the pits to be successful. Bill and Townsend are both smart drivers and will take advantage of what comes and be ready to avoid everything else. Our pit work and strategy will need to be spot on as the race is only 120-minutes long."

The American Le Mans Series will travel to Maryland for the Grand Prix of Baltimore to run Aug. 30-31. The race will be televised on ABC Sept. 1 at 12:00 p.m. EDT on ABC. Live streaming of the race can be viewed on ESPN3.com, Aug. 31 at 3:30 pm EDT.

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.

Battery Tender logo In 1989, Deltran introduced the Battery Tender Plus into the marketplace. The main reason was that many more AGM style lead acid batteries were being used in a variety of power sports engine start applications. Each and every Deltran Battery Tender Battery Charger® regardless of its size is programmed with a microprocessor that will correctly charge a battery then automatically switch to a maintenance/float mode. Refer to batterytender.com for more information.
Yokohama logo Yokohama Tire Corporation is the North American manufacturing and marketing arm of Tokyo, Japan-based The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd., a global manufacturing and sales company of premium tires since 1917. Servicing a network of more than 4,500 points of sale in the U.S., Yokohama Tire Corporation is a leader in technology and innovation. The company's complete product line includes the dB Super E-spec™ - the world's first tire to use orange oil to reduce petroleum - as well as tires for high-performance, light truck, passenger car, commercial truck and bus, and off-the-road mining and construction applications.Find more information at yokohamatire.com.  

Boardwalk Ferrari logoBoardwalk Ferrari, Plano, Texas, is among the top performance-oriented dealers in the famed Italian automaker's North American fold. Boardwalk rapidly established a record of Ferrari success. Boardwalk Ferrari is committed to the Ferrari performance legacy. With racing events, rallies, concours shows and lifestyle events such as wine tastings, Boardwalk provides its clients with Ferrari ownership experiences that are second to none. For more information contact Nathan Dunning, ndunning@boardwalkag.com or vist boardwalkferrari.com. 

William Rast logo William Rast, the 'New America' denim culture brand, was conceptualized and founded by business partners Justin Timberlake and Trace Ayala in 2005. Originally comprised of only denim, the brand has expanded into a complete lifestyle collection. Grounded in the iconography of American denim heritage and biker culture, yet re-packaged and presented in a contemporary context, William Rast has found its place on the floors of top-tier department stores and boutiques across the globe, and has become a staple for denim fans worldwide. For more information on the complete William Rast line, visit williamrast.com.

Official Partners and Suppliers:

Motegi Logo Motegi Racing Performance, partners with leading professional racing teams, Motegi Racing Competition and High Performance Tuning wheels are designed and engineered for performance. Motegi Racing is owned by Wheel Pros, one of the largest suppliers of branded custom wheels, performance tires and related accessories for cars, SUVs and light trucks.  Find more information at motegiracing.com and facebook.com/motegiracing.