EMCO Gears Classic ends early for Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team at Mid-Ohio
The dark ominous storm clouds that hovered over the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course at the start of today's Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series EMCO Gears Classic was just an early sign what was to come for the Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team.
Basically, the team's day ended before the green flag dropped on round seven. Driver Joey Hand just started the pace laps when something happened to the drivetrain and the result rendered the No. 23 Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team Porsche-powered Crawford Daytona Prototype immobile. Stuck on track, safety crews had to move the No. 23 machine behind the wall before the green flag came out.
Shortly after the race started, a deluge of rain fell on the 2.258-mile circuit. The massive rainfall led to a multi-car accident, which brought out the race's first caution. As the conditions worsened, coupled wîth the fact that the team was already several laps down at this point, Team Owner Alex Job decided to park the No. 23 machine rather than risk severe car damage wîth the next round only two weeks away.
'Únfortunately all of the hard work the Ruby Tuesday team put in this weekend came to an abrupt end on the first pace lap,' Hand §äid. 'We always try to warm the tires before the race, especially because it was starting to sprinkle. There was a possible chance that the race was going to go green wîth us on slicks. It was sprinkling just enough to make the track slick. When you warm-up tires, you get the rear wheels broke loose and get them spinning. I did that twice on the back stretch and once on the front stretch. When I dumped the clutch to get them spinning, something broke. It was a tough break because this might have been our chance to do something, especially wîth the rain. These guys have worked so hard wîth not a lot to show for it. Like I said before, our day will come and hopefully it is really close.'
'It has been a difficult two days,' Job §äid. 'We had some issues wîth the car - a lack of downforce and a huge understeer. Únfortunately, to top that off, something in the drivetrain broke on the pace lap. We never even took the green. It was a disappointing event.'
The Grand-Am Rolex Sports Cars Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 heads to the World Center of Racing July 3 for the Brumos Porsche 250.Source - Alex Job Racing
Alex Job Racing - Company Background
Formed in 1988, Alex Job Racing (AJR) is considered one of the top sports car competitors in the American Le Mans Series. AJR is longest competing and most successful team in the ALMS.
The team benefits from technology developed by Porsche Motorsport, but the factory assisted team has also undertaken considerable development work on its own.
The story of the team's success began more than 30 years ago. Team owner Alex Job spent 20 years in the retail automobile business, primarily wîth Porsche, before pursuing racing as a full time business. For Job, racing has always been a motivating factor; in the 1970s, he raced part time while keeping his day job. Job retired from racing in the late '70s, but the separation didn't stick and he was drawn back to racing.
Job founded Alex Job Racing in 1988, wîth the goal of building a race program that would evolve into a championship caliber team. The team was initially run out of the two car garage at Alex and Holly's house. At the time, customer cars were not available from Porsche, so Alex built the first two cars they raced. In 1990, this goal came closer to becoming reality when the team began racing full time. As a result Alex was able to attack racing wîth a renewed focus. Alex Job Racing moved into their first commercial warehouse shop in 1991.
Soon the team's hard work began to turn into success. As a driver, Job had a 2nd place finish at the 1990 Rolex 24 at Daytona as well as a 2nd place finish at the 1991 12 Hours of Sebring. In 1992 he decided to retire from driving duties recognizing that for the team to be a true success, he needed to pursue roles as team manager and engine builder, in addition to his current ownership position.
| ||Vital Stats|
|Engine : 3.8 L., 6-cylinder|
Power: 510 hp
Torque: 321 ft-lbs
Job's second retirement from driving began to pay off in 1995 when AJR began to reap a number of successes. These included wins at the Sebring 12 Hours, (Charlie Slater, Joe Cogbill and Bill Auberlen driving) and the New Orleans IMSA finale (Bill Auberlen).
1996 would include a very interesting program, wîth a Fabcar built, mid engine, 911 bodied and powered car. The car was driven by Hurley Haywood and Tom Hessert and won at the Watkins Glenn 6 Hours. 1997 was the first year Alex Job Racing was involved in the Team Seattle program. This was an association between AJR and a group of Seattle business men, intended to help raise money for the Children's Hospital of Seattle . Money was pledged based on the performance of the cars in the race. The first year only had one car involved. The program was continued in 1998 and 1999. The total amount raised during the program was approximately a half a million dollars.
In 1998 AJR ran a full Professional Sports Car Racing season wîth Darryl Havens and Cort Wagner driving. The season progressed well, wîth podium finishes at Daytona, Sebring, Las Vegas, Lime Rock, Mid Ohio and Mosport and wins at Watkins Glenn, the fall Sebring race and Laguna Seca. The middle of the 1998 season is when Alex Job Racing and Porsche Motorsports North America first did business together. It is at this time that PMNA started to build all of the engines for AJR. This relationship would flourish during successive years. 1998 was the true turning point in the history of AJR, as it is the first time the proper funding for a two car team was brought into the equation, in the form of sponsorship from Aerofab Aluminum and Darryl Havens. Alex, himself, would win the PSCR Mechanic of the Year award.
AJR jumped into the inaugural season of the American Le Mans Series in 1999 full-bore wîth a two-car effort. The year started strong as the team captured GT class honors in the Rolex 24 at Daytona. The team didn't stop there; they built upon this success to win the other major North American endurance events including the 12 Hours of Sebring and the Petit Le Mans.
The driver lineup for the 1999 season included: Cort Wagner, Dirk Mueller, Darryl Havens and Mike Fitzgerald. Additional drivers for certain races included Kelly Collins, Anthony Lazarro, Randy Pobst and Sascha Maassen. AJR was the first ÚS team to receive the new 911 GT3-R, which they received after the Le Mans 24 Hours. With both Cort Wagner and Dirk Mueller driving the new car, they won three of the remaining five races (Portland, Petit Le Mans and Las Vegas) and finished 2 nd in the other two (Sears Point and Laguna Seca). Cort Wagner won the ALMS GT Class Drivers Championship, as well as the Porsche Cup. AJR finished 2 nd in the teams championship. Crew Chief Mike Evans would win the ALMS Mechanic of the Year Award. This was also the first season McKenna, a Southern California Porsche Dealership, appeared as a sponsor, on the car. This would be the beginning of a long standing relationship between AJR and McKenna.
The 2000 ALMS season brought new competition for AJR, in the form of the Porsche factory assisted Dick Barbour Racing. AJR would run a Porsche 911 GT3-R wîth Randy Pobst and Bruno Lambert driving. This season also brought in a new sponsor, Cranium. Bruno and Randy won twice (Mosport and Texas ) and finished on the podium 5 more times. Randy Pobst finished 2 nd in the ALMS GT Class Drivers Championship (182 points), only 6 points behind Champion Dirk Muller. Bruno Lambert would finish tied for fourth wîth Bob Wollek (with 180 points) in the Drivers Championship.
2001 brought many changes for both AJR and the ALMS GT Class. AJR gained factory support wîth the use of factory drivers: Lucas Luhr, Sascha Maassen, Randy Pobst, Christian Menzel, Emanuel Collard and Timo Bernhard. McKenna Porsche was back, this time as a primary sponsor. 2001 is also the year when BMW came in to the ALMS GT class in a big way, wîth the M3-V8GTR. There were two factory backed teams, each running two cars: BMW Motorsport/Team Schnitzer and Prototype Technology Group. AJR would finish 1-2 at the first three races ( Texas , Sebring and Donnington Park ) as well as gaining 5 subsequent podiums during the rest of the season. AJR would finish 2 nd to BMW Motorsport for the ALMS GT Team championship (194 points to 180 points), wîth its drivers (Maassen/177 and Luhr/176) finishing 3 rd and 4 th to the BMW Motorsport drivers (Muller/191 and Lehto/186) for the ALMS GT Drivers Championship.
The 2002 season would see continued support from Porsche, as well as continuing primary support from McKenna Porsche, as well as new sponsor Xybernaut Computers. Two drivers from 2001 would return (Maassen and Luhr) and two new ones would join the team full time (Timo Bernhard and Jorg Bergmeister). Marc Lieb would be wîth the team at Sebring and Petit Le Mans. The team had 8 wins (Sebring, Sears Point , Road America , Washington DC , Three Rivers , Laguna Seca, Miami and the Petit Le Mans) as well as 7 other podiums. AJR also won the pole position at 9 races as well as setting the fastest race lap at all 10 races. Lucas Luhr and Sascha Maassen would win the GT Class Drivers Championship by 52 points, while the team would win the GT Class Team Championship by 40 points and the IMSA Cup by 48 points. AJR made a clean sweep of the awards when Crew Chief Jeff Gamroth won the Mechanic of the Year award. This was a great season, but could get better, as it did in.
2003 would see success not before experienced in any class of ALMS competition. The driver lineup would be the same as in 2002, wîth Romain Dumas joining the team at Petit Le Mans. AJR would win every round of the ALMS season, except Road America . The team would also win every pole position and set the fastest race lap at each race. AJR ended the season wîth a record such as this, all the while helping Porsche to develop the new sequential gearbox, which is available in all of the 2004 911 GT3-RSR's. Lucas Luhr and Sascha Maassen would win the ALMS GT Class Drivers Championship by 60 points, over Timo Bernhard and Jorg Bergmeister, who were a further 8 points ahead of Ralf Kelleners and Anthony Lazarro, in a Ferrari 360 Modena. For the second year in a row, an AJR crew chief would win the mechanic of the year award, though this time it would be first year crew chief Phil Pierce, who was previously the number one mechanic on the team. For the third year in a row, McKenna Porsche would be the primary sponsor, wîth mail2web.com joining on as a sponsor, for the first time.
2004 American Le Mans Series GT team champions. Timo Bernhard GT driver's champion, seven wins at Sebring, Infineon, Portland, Mosport, Road America, Road Atlanta and Laguna Seca. Sixth team victory at Sebring. Eight pole qualifying positions at Sebring, Mid-Ohio, Lime Rock, Infineon, Portland, Road America, Road Atlanta and Laguna Seca. Thirteen team podiums. Three team 1 – 2 finishes at Sebring, Road Atlanta and Laguna Seca. Drivers in 2004 included full time pilots Timo Bernhard, Jorg Bergmeister, Romain Dumas and Marc Lieb. Sascah Maasen, Lucas Luhr, and Wolf Henzler drove at Sebring and Petit Le Mans.
2005 AJR finished second in the ALMS GT2 championship boasting four wins at Mid Ohio, Lime Rock, Infineon, and Portland; 13 top five finishes and won the GT2 class at Le Mans wîth BAM! Motorsport.
2006 AJR finished 5th in the ALMS GT2 Championship wîth the Team's 50th race win at Houston. With the Team's first year in DP competition AJR also finished 5th in the Rolex Grand Am Daytona Prototype Championship wîth wins at Homestead and VIR plus a qualifying race win at Laguna Seca.
In 2007, AJR completed its second full season in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Reserve. The team recorded one win (Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca), three top-five and 11 top-10 finishes.Source - Alex Job Racing