Sweedler and Bell Ready for VIR in West/AJR Ferrari
TAVARES, Fla., - Bill Sweedler and Townsend Bell are looking forward to the American Le Mans Series Oak Tree Grand Prix to run at Virginia International Raceway, Oct. 4-6 in their Team West/Alex Job Racing Ferrari.
Sweedler (Westport, Conn.) will visit the 3.27-mile, 17-turn undulating road course located 15 minutes north of Danville for only the second time. The picturesque track features nearly every kind of turn. The long course suits the handling and speed of the Team West/AJR Ferrari. Bell (San Luis Obispo, Calif.) will also make his second race start at VIR.
"I am really looking forward to running the Team West/AJR Ferrari at VIR this weekend," Sweedler said. "The Alex Job guys have really been hitting the set-up on the 458 GT and it will be fun hustling the car through the fast esses. Yokohama has been giving us progressively better tires throughout the season. This race is a prelude to Petit Le Mans in two weeks, so I am anxious to turn some laps at a great track this weekend."
Bell is looking forward to putting it all together at VIR this weekend.
"This will be only my second race at VIR," Bell said. "The course layout reminds me of the other great natural terrain road courses like Mid-Ohio and Road America. Trees outline the circuit and the track has nearly every kind of turn. The AJR crew has been able to maximize the handling of the Ferrari on the Yokohama tires this season. We need to put together a clean and complete race. We have had some issues the last couple of races with the car and penalties, so a good complete race before we head into Petit Le Mans will be a great precursor to the season finale."
Eduardo Espindola, team co-owner, likes the handling premium of VIR.
"VIR is certainly a set-up track," Espindola said. "The team has been able to really get the 458 handling on the natural terrain road courses. VIR will be another challenge, but one that we are looking forward to tackling."
Alex Job, team owner, is using VIR as a Petit Le Mans work out.
"Currently the Ferrari lacks a little off-corner torque," Job said. "VIR is a tough track when you give up time off of the corners. VIR will be a good race for us to fine tune the drivers, team and handling of the Ferrari 458 for the Petit Le Mans season ender."
The television broadcast from VIR will air October 6 at 5:30 p.m. EDT on ESPN 2. Live streaming of the race will run October 5, starting at 2:00 p.m. EDT on ESPN 3.com, with live qualifying streaming on ESPN3.com on October 4 at 3:35 p.m.
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.