Daytona24: Alex Job Racing race report
Alex Job Racing Finishes 12th at 24 Hours At Daytona Daytona Beach, Fla., (Jan. 31, 2010) - Claudio Burtin brought the No. 23 Foametix/Battery Tender/Alex Job Racing/Porsche 997 GT3 Cup car home in 12th place in the 48th running of the Grand-Am ...
Alex Job Racing Finishes 12th at 24 Hours At Daytona
Daytona Beach, Fla., (Jan. 31, 2010) - Claudio Burtin brought the No. 23 Foametix/Battery Tender/Alex Job Racing/Porsche 997 GT3 Cup car home in 12th place in the 48th running of the Grand-Am Road Racing Series Rolex 24 Hour At Daytona.
Daytona After a tough start to the weekend which had the team completing only four laps of the first practice on Thursday and an early race transmission change a near top ten finish is a just reward. On Thursday the team put more miles on the truck and trailer with the car in the back headed to the body shop than they did with it on the track. An all night thrash by the team to repair right rear crash damage had the car back at the track in time for the 9:00 a.m. practice on Friday. The car showed the same speed it displayed in the Roar Before The 24 practice earlier in the month upon its resurrection.
When the 44 car field took the green, rain covered the greater Daytona Beach area. Martin Ragginger raged from his 21st starting position in wet conditions to put the car in the lead just 63 laps into the race. Dominik Farnbacher took over the controls and continued to front the GT field until lap 111 when he reported second gear had gone. The team elected to change the gearbox 26 laps later, sending them down the timing sheet. From that point to the end of the race at 3:30 p.m. today the Porsche ran near flawlessly. Claudio Burtin, Mitch Pagerey and Jack Baldwin handled the bulk of Sunday's running to finish out the event.
"Through the night the car got a little beat-up underneath," Burtin said. "The splitter on the front is missing, the shocks in the back are a little off, but she ran right to the end. Typical of what happens throughout a 24 hour race. Everyone did a good job to comeback and run consistent laps after our garage time. We were able to comeback from the transmission change and make a respectable showing with a 12th place."
"My first Rolex 24 hour race was awesome," Pagerey said. "The real hero's here is the Alex Job crew. We worked them a little too hard this weekend on Thursday and again early last night. These guys made it easy for me. I am pleased with the lap times I ran. It would have been nice if the gearbox held up, we would have been on the lead lap at the end. We had two really fast guys and I, Jack and Claudio all matched up well. The level of performance here is on a whole different level. I tested myself. It is a triumph for me, a really good day."
"We finished and that is good," Baldwin said. "This is the best Porsche I have ever driven here at Daytona. It is a great team and a really good effort. I am happy with the way this group came together. We had the problem with the gearbox last night, I am not sure how to prevent that, it was a main shaft. We did everything we really could do to be successful this weekend. You need preparation, we had that, and we just needed the luck aspect. You have to have the luck fall into your plan. If you are going to win the race, you cannot take the car to the garage. If you have to get the garage for repairs you won't be on the podium. The reality is that you have to be near perfect to win it."
"If we take away what happened in practice and the transmission change our weekend might have been a winner," Ragginger said. "I am not sure we had a pole car in qualifying, but I think the fastest Porsche, which was our goal. We showed in the race that our car was really good and I think the Mazda would have been chasing us. But that is not the way it happened. Every car, except the two winners, can say this. That is motorsport and you have to accept it. Alex's team is the best I have driven with in America. I would like to try it again with them next year."
"You have to run perfect here to win," Farnbacher said. "The winning DP and GT cars today never went back to the garage and really just took, gas, oil and a fresh driver. The level of teams and drivers here is so good, there can't be any mistakes. You have to assemble the complete package which includes the car, drivers, crew and a lot of luck. For everything we went through this weekend, 12th is not so bad."
"This is a tough race," Alex Job, team owner said. "To win you have to have a near perfect run, which means not going back to the garage. We rebuilt the transmission after the test, but it broke an input shaft. That part is usually the last one in the gearbox that you think would go. After that we were consistently the fastest GT car on the track. It is just impossible to makeup over 40 laps on a quality field like this one. I had hoped after our Thursday practice accident that we left our bad luck at the body shop. It was nice to take the checker near the top ten after the weekend the guys went through."
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