Alex Job Racing (AJR) drivers Bill Sweedler (Westport, Conn.), Townsend Bell (San Luis Obispo, Calif.), Frankie Montecalvo (Highlands, N.J.), and Pierre Kaffer (Germany) put the all-new No. 23 Audi R8 LMS through its paces at this weekend’s Roar Before the 24 test days at Daytona International Speedway.
During the three test days, the drivers and team got the opportunity to test the new Audi under several types of weather conditions – in preparation for the Rolex 24 At Daytona later this month. Friday it was sunny and 70 degrees. Saturday it rained, with temperatures in the low 40s. Sunday it was sunny in the low 40s. This variety gave the team quite a bit of data to use for the race, which historically has seen sun and rain, with warm and cool temperatures during the twice around the clock race.
“It’s a testament to the Alex Job Racing team to come out here and run in the top five consistently,” Sweedler said. “The team did an amazing job with Audi North America to get the car prepped and ready. I can’t be thankful enough to both of them. I’m excited to have my three teammates. We literally met Frankie and Pierre three days ago and we’ve already gelled together as a team. Now, we’re focused on the race. The balance on the car is staggering. It’s just a comfortable car to drive. The brakes are tremendous. The overall package is one of the best I’ve ever driven.”
“I’m really proud of the AJR team and the brand new car,” Bell said. “Audi did a great job, worked their tails off over the holidays for us, as did the whole AJR crew. We’re proud to be here. Things ran really smoothly [this weekend]. We really enjoyed it. I think we got a lot of really good information. Track temperature is probably the biggest thing here. Typically, when you come back for the race, it’s always warmer here. We got a little bit of heat here on Friday. But, it was really cold last night and this morning. I think we got a pretty good spectrum of information for something that came together late. I couldn’t be happy for the way everyone showed up ready to go.”
“I think it went great,” Montecalvo said of testing. “Like Townsend said, we got the car late. It was a last minute deal for everyone. I don’t think any of us had turned a lap in this car [Audi] yet. But, for us to get up to speed like that, it shows the team and Audi do a great job. I think we’re all still learning the car and getting up to speed. It’s very impressive that we’ve gone so fast out of the box.”
“I’m really surprised at how good the car was right out of the box,” Kaffer said. “It’s an honor to drive with Alex Job. It’s also an honor to drive with my teammates. The car is in very good shape. We’re all please with the set-up. I’m really looking forward to the race. It’s always nice to be back [in Daytona]. I have some experience with the car. So, I try to help as much as possible so we don’t need so much time to set-up the car. For me, it’s no surprise that the new Audi R8 is a really great car. We’ve proven this many times. With all the manufacturers, I think it will be a really hard race here and I’m really looking forward to it.”
“It was one of the best tests we have had here in my 22 years of coming to Daytona,” Alex Job, team owner, said. “Bill, Townsend, Frankie and Pierre all did a great job. They didn’t put a wheel wrong all weekend and we completed our testing plan. The new Audi is a fantastic car and my guys love to work on it. Now it is prep time for the 24.”
The Rolex 24 At Daytona race weekend is set for Jan. 26-29. The green flag drops at 2:30 p.m. (ET) Saturday, Jan. 28.
Source. Kyle Chura/Alex Job Racing