WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. - Alex Job Racing drivers Bill Sweedler (Westport, Conn.), Townsend Bell (San Luis Obispo, Calif.) and Frankie Montecalvo (Highlands, N.J.), will start from the eighth row on the GTD grid for this weekend's IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen.
Bell, who is coming off a third place class finish at Le Mans a two-weeks ago, had the controls of the No. 23 Audi R8 LMS for today's 15-minute GTD qualifying session. Unfortunately, Bell's session did not last long. Three laps into it, IMSA gave the No. 23 Audi a black flag. Corner workers reporting seeing a fire in the rear of the car. As a result, Bell brought the car to pit lane where the crew discovered a significant gearbox issue that ended the team's qualifying session. Bell will start from the eighth row as a result of his 1:50.647 qualifying time.
"We've had a tough start to our weekend," Bell said. "We had a bunch of issues in the first [practice] session, which limited our time. In the second session, we finally started to find our feet and we were optimistic. This morning, it was obviously wet, but the car was still good.
"Then finally [for qualifying], the sun's out, the track is drying, and we could put everything we learned in the Friday second practice session to work. We were feeling good about things. The car was great. I was coming up to speed on a good lap and something happened in the transmission. It's pretty terminal back there."
"We spent Friday sorting through the set-up of the Audi," Alex Job, team owner said. "We haven't run the car since Sebring and Bill, Frankie and Townsend have been driving other makes over the past few months so we were all getting back into 'Audi' mode. In qualifying it was too bad, Townsend was feeling good about the car and then we had the issue with the transmission. We will have it ready for the race tomorrow."
Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen will start at 10:10 a.m. (EDT) Sunday, July 2. Race fans watch live racing action from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on FS1. Live coverage will transition to FS2 at 1 p.m. and continue through the end of the race.
This season, race fans can following Alex Job Racing on Instagram @alexjobracing.
Alex Job Racing
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 five championships (GTC 2013, 2012, GT in 2004, 2003 and 2002) complimented by their two GT class wins at Le Mans. The team also boasts ten Sebring 12-hour wins.
Audi of America
Audi began a new chapter in 2009 with the introduction of the Audi Sport customer racing program. For the first time, it was possible for motorsport customers to acquire a race car designed for the track. Since its inception, the success of the R8 LMS has been significant throughout GT3 racing series worldwide, with multiple victories in the Pirelli World Challenge since 2012. The all-new R8 LMS had strong endurance racing debuts, winning both the 2015 24 hours of Nürburgring and the 2016 Rolex 24 at Daytona, concluding the 2016 IMSA WeatherTech season with the Manufacturer's Championship in GTD. The Audi R8 LMS shares more than 50% of its parts with the Audi R8 street car including the naturally aspirated V10 5.2 liter engine, the Audi Space Frame and a variety of other components. Audi of America, Inc. and its U.S. dealers offer a full line of German-engineered luxury vehicles. AUDI AG is among the most successful luxury automotive brands globally. The Audi Group delivered over 1,800,000 vehicles to customers globally in 2015, and broke all-time company sales records for the 6th straight year in the U.S. Visit audiusa.com, audiusa.com/newsroom or audiusa.com/motorsport for more information regarding Audi vehicles and business topics.