BRASELTON, Ga., - Alex Job Racing drivers Bill Sweedler (Westport, Conn.) Townsend Bell (San Luis Obispo, Calif.) and Frankie Montecalvo (Highland, N.J.) will start the 20th running of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Motul Petit Le Mans from the seventh row at Road Atlanta tomorrow.
Bell had the wheel of the No. 23 Alex Job Racing Audi R8 LMS for the 15-minute qualifying session around the 2.5-mile, 12-turn circuit. The driver from California posted a lap of 1:21.648 on his fifth lap of the session. The team has been dialing in the Audi R8 LMS to a very warm track, temperatures at qualifying time were in the mid-80s. The team will take the start at 11:05 a.m. ET from the 13th position on the GTD grid.
"The balance is actually pretty good on the Audi R8 LMS," Bell said. "We're happy with the balance we've achieve. We're just slow on the straightaways. We're a good half a second to six-tenths off and that's frustrating.
"It was a good call to come in during qualifying [for an air pressure adjustment]. That was planned. I had a better lap going and then there was a Lexus going slow to try to cool off. But, he showed no respect to the cars that were on [flying] laps. In IndyCar, that's an easy penalty. But, I don't know what they'll do here. That's frustrating because we worked really hard to at least make the best of what we had. It's just frustrating."
"We have been trying all week to repeat the set-up we worked to when we tested here in September," Alex Job, team owner said. "The track conditions just weren't the same. Frankie, Bill and Townsend have been working hard with the team to get the Audi R8 LMS up the time chart, but we have some more work to do. We will keep working tonight and look to the warm-up for even more improvement."
The IMSA WeatherTech Championship Motul Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta will be televised in three segments on FS1. The broadcast will start at 10:30 a.m. ET and go until 11:30 a.m. The race will switch to FS2 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. It will come back to FS1 for the finish from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
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.