Daytona24: Alex Job Racing preview

Alex Job Racing Ready to go Twice Around the Clock at Daytona Tavares, Fla., - Alex Job Racing and its five driver lineup are ready to take the No. 23 Foametix/Battery Tender/Alex Job Racing/Porsche 997 GT3 Cup entry twice around the clock in ...

Daytona24: Alex Job Racing preview

Alex Job Racing Ready to go Twice Around the Clock at Daytona

Tavares, Fla., - Alex Job Racing and its five driver lineup are ready to take the No. 23 Foametix/Battery Tender/Alex Job Racing/Porsche 997 GT3 Cup entry twice around the clock in the 48th running of the Grand-Am Road Racing Series Rolex 24 Hour At Daytona, January 30-31. The team came away from the Roar Before the 24 practice three weeks ago posting the fastest time for a Porsche in GT and second overall in the class.

Car advance Drivers Claudio Burtin, Mitch Pagerey, Jack Baldwin, Dominik Farnbacher and Martin Ragginger are ready put their speed and skill to the test starting at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. The team is comprised of a nice mix of speedy young guns with Farnbacher, a 2005 Rolex GT winner, and Ragginger a brisk veteran of International FIA GT competition. Burtin and Baldwin bring a veterans approach and a lot of laps at Daytona International Speedway. Combined with first timer, but seasoned road racer, Pagerey, the No. 23 hopes to be running out front at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Claudio Burtin (Atlanta, GA) has been racing sports cars since 1982. In 1998 Claudio was the SCCA South East GT Champion. He has 35 starts in the SCCA Trans-Am series with a fourth-place finish in Long Beach driving a 2000 Ford Mustang. Burtin has also been driving for Woodhouse Racing Viper in the SCCA Pro Racing World Challenge GT Series. The Georgian will be competing in his third Rolex 24 Hour.

"I like the United Nations team that Alex has put together," Burtin said. "I think I counted five or six different countries in as many crew members. My goal is to drive to keep us in contention for the win. First place gets a Rolex Daytona watch, second place doesn't even get a sun dial. I think our chances are good. All the pieces are there, it's now up to everybody to execute. This is my third 24 hour and after running sprint races my whole life, it feels like a one hour race is a qualifying lap in comparison."

Mitch Pagerey (Deerfield, FL) will make his first Rolex 24 Hour start. Pagerey ran last season in the Patron GT3 Challenge in an Alex Job Racing prepared Porsche GT3 Cup car. The Floridian finished third in the Patron GT3 Challenge series in 2009 on the strength of a win at Mosport, complimented by seven podiums and 11 top five finishes. Although new to the 24 Hour, Pagerey has a lot of laps in a Porsche around the Daytona road course.

"Our approach is simple - listen to Alex. He is the Porsche endurance racing guru," Pagerey said. "The test went awesome for the team and for me it was humbling. My goals are to add as much value to the team as possible and in the process, gain the professional experience I need to continue to be invited to drive with top teams like AJR. This is my first Rolex 24. The intense speed of the AJR prepared Porsche in the practice was great. Over 175 mph, with prototypes passing you is absolutely intense! I have run there plenty of times, but nothing could have prepared me for that type of rush!"

Jack Baldwin (Marietta, GA) is a seasoned road racing veteran and 1992 Trans-Am champion. Baldwin brings a strong endurance background to the team. Not only is Baldwin a veteran of 20 Rolex 24 hour races, having raced cars in every class, but he also spent time on the high-banks in an IROC car in 1993 and 1994.

"I have driven in every class over the years and could write a novel as to the adventures," Baldwin said. "They tell me this is my 20th running. I have lost it in the last 15 minutes and everything in between. Alex has done a superb job of not only preparing the best Porsche in the field, but assembling a great crew and team of drivers as well. It is an honor and a privilege for me to be listed as one of those drivers and part of AJR's 2010 Rolex Daytona 24 hour effort. The cars and technology have improved so much over the years. The 24 has become more of a long sprint race. There is a race pace, but it's not far from flat out. The preparation and execution by Alex's team is head and shoulders over the past years. This car, since purchased, has only run the last two 24's, so it really doesn't have a lot of time on it. The car has always been fast and a solid runner. When you look at the track it doesn't seem that tough, but it has proven itself to be the toughest. Because the race always attracts the best of the best in teams and drivers it takes all the ingredients, from the right car to great preparation and execution. This is the one race that you really have to factor in luck to win it. If you don't come with a world class effort you won't put yourself into position to get that measure of luck. Although I have had the good fortune to drive for some pretty good teams through the years none of them were better than AJR."

Martin Ragginger (Stuttgart, Germany) came up through the Porsche junior driving system and spent the last couple of seasons in the International FIA GT championship. 2009 was his second Rolex 24 Hour start and he was partnered with Burtin and Baldwin.

"We had a great test, no problems at all. A fast car and a great team," Ragginger said. "To drive for Alex Job is an honor for me, a great team with a big name. Our Foametix/Battery Tender Porsche was prepared fantasticly and that's how I like to start a 24h race. It's difficult to say what the race pace will be, but I think we have to run between 1.51.0 and 1.52.0. The secret is to get everything together. To be the fastest Porsche at the test was great! We improved the car in each session and to be fastest on the last day is the result of three hard days of work. My personal goal is to win. Together with Alex Job Racing and our group of drivers we have a great chance to do it!"

Dominik Farnbacher (Ansbach, Germany) brings a wealth of Porsche seat time and a Rolex 24 Hour win to the team. The young German won the Rolex 24 GT Class in 2005 behind the wheel of a Porsche. Farnbacher returns to Alex Job Racing where he once raced with the team at Petit Le Mans (2006) in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS). For the past three years Farnbacher has raced in the GT2 class of the ALMS.

"The test really showed the potential of this team," Farnbacher said. "We are a strong group of fast youngsters - and fast veterans. We have a good combination of experience, with all of us, but one, having driven 24 hour races before. We worked hard on our setup and really did our home work at the test. We found a setup for our car that all of the guys are comfortable with for the 24 hour chase. The average lap time will be quicker than last year. We have a lot of strong teams in the GT field. I think the times will be in the 52 or 51s over a lap. I have won the race before. We were lucky that our car lasted. We have the best formula to do so again this year, because we drive the most reliable car out there, the Porsche. But we have to be smart, don't try any risky moves and still be very quick. We have the best team for all of those factors. I raced for Alex in 2006. He has a great team, they work hard and that is why they have been so successful. The chemistry in the team, from test, fits like the fist on the eye. Everyone works as a unit and everyone knows what to do, that is what makes up a professional effort."

Alex Job has his team ready to take on the Rolex 24 for the 16th time. The team will be looking to add a fifth Rolex win to their racing resume.

Job c "The team has done all of the necessary prep work on the car since the test," Alex Job, team owner said. "The tense part for me is not the race, but the practice and qualifying sessions leading up to the start Saturday afternoon. It is really the only time that all of the cars are on the track. There is every level of driver out there from Jimmie Johnson to the guy who just graduated from driving school. We had a great test and the car came away without a scratch. The Porsche was fast and all of our drivers were happy with the way the GT3 handled. With a mix of young fast guys and endurance veterans, we have should be a definite advantage during the 24 hours."

The Rolex 24 Hour At Daytona will take the green flag on January 30 at 3:30 p.m. and the checker will fall 24 hours later.

-source: ajr

Daytona Int'l Speedway news 2010-01-25
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