Two Cars in new GTC class at Sebring with strong driver lineup
Alex Job: ‘In the time that we were in the series we were very successful with the Porsche factory, as well as on our own.’
Alex Job Racing, one of the most successful teams in American Le Mans Series history, announced Friday that it will make a return to full-time Series competition for the 2010 season as part of the new GT Challenge class with a two-car entry.
The Tavaras, Fla.,-based team will rejoin the championship starting at the 58th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida, a race AJR won six times – including five in GT between 1999 and 2004.
‘We are looking forward to returning to the American Le Mans Series and running the full schedule,’ said team owner Alex Job. ‘In the time that we were in the series we were very successful with the Porsche factory, as well as on our own.’
In the team’s first GTC entry for 2010, the No. 23 Battery Tender/Patrón/Alex Job Racing/Porsche 911 GT3 Cup entry will be driven by Bill Sweedler (New York, NY) and Romeo Kapudija (Chicago, Ill.). Sweedler has a lot of laps behind the wheel of the 911 with an eighth place championship finish in the Patrón GT3 Challenge by Yokohama last season. He also made four American Le Mans Series starts in the 2009 GT Challenge class with a runner-up finish at Lime Rock Park and two other podium finishes. Kapudija’s racing résumé includes four Series starts with a pair of seventh-place GT finishes in 2003.
In the No. 81 Mission Foods/Alex Job Racing/Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car will be Juan Gonzalez (Irving, Texas) and Butch Leitzinger (Rebersburg, Pa.). Gonzalez is a veteran Porsche road racer. Leitzinger is a household name among sports car fans with seven prototype victories and 83 starts in the American Le Mans Series to his credit.
Bill Sweedler and Romeo Kapudija will drive one AJR Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car for AJR with Juan Gonzalez and Series star Butch Leitzinger in the other.
‘We have assembled two strong cars and four great drivers to run for the GTC championship,’ Job continued. ‘We will be introducing three new sponsors along with our program for 2010. Battery Tender will be featured along with Tequila Patrón and Mission Foods. We have taken delivery of two brand new 911 GT3 Cup cars and have signed four fast drivers to run for the GTC championship. We will be announcing the third drivers for Sebring in the coming weeks.’
AJR has amassed a total of 37 class victories with 45 pole positions and 75 podium finishes. The team also won three GT class championships with drivers such as Jörg Bergmeister, Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas, Marc Lieb, Lucas Luhr, Sascha Maassen, Dirk Müller and many of Porsche’s other top sports car drivers. AJR also has won in class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans twice.
The GTC category is specific to one of the most popular factory-produced racing cars in the world, the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. Developed for Porsche’s one-make series around the world, the new version of the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup is based on the road going 911 GT3 RS. The power unit featured in the new 911 GT3 Cup is largely identical to the production engine of the 911 GT3 RS with the same output of 450 bhp and the same maximum engine speed of 8,500 rpm. The GTC Porsche racers will run on spec Yokohama tires.
‘GTC is sure to be the most competitive class on the track all year,’ Job said. ‘The cars are identical and that leaves it to the driver and the team to be the difference. I am looking forward to kicking off the season at Sebring. It has been since 2006 when we last competed in the 12 Hours. We are really looking forward to the third weekend in March.’
The American Le Mans Series will open its 12th season with America’s greatest sports car race, the 58th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida from March 17-20. The green flag will fall at 10:35 a.m. on Saturday, March 20 with live coverage on SPEED. For ticket and accommodation information, see sebringraceway.com.
The annual American Le Mans Series Winter Test is scheduled for February 22-23, also at Sebring International Raceway.
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