Von Moltke, Sweedler and Bell Win GTC for AJR at Sebring
AJR gets eighth Sebring win
Sebring, Fla., (Mar. 16, 2012) - The Alex Job Racing (AJR) No. 023 Battery Tender/WilliamRast/Yokohama/PR Newswire/Alex Job Racing Porsche GT3 Cup team won the GTC Class at the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron 60th Anniversary Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring fueled by Fresh from Florida. The trio of Dion von Moltke, Bill Sweedler and Townsend Bell overcame adversity and won in convincing fashion.
Von Moltke (South Africa) proved to be the iron horse for AJR all day. The young South African ran fast laps all race and brought the 023 Porsche home to the victory, the eighth for the team from Florida. The win was not without its anxious moments. Both Bell and Sweedler had self-inflicted tire issues in their first stints. In addition, von Moltke got punted with just two-hours remaining going through the ultra-fast Turn 17. The result was a broken wheel, but quick work by the AJR crew kept von Moltke in the lead for the win.
"What a crazy race," von Moltke said. "A great one-two finish for Alex Job and the team. Thanks to Battery Tender, William Rast and PR Newswire for all of their support. Bill and Townsend did an amazing job all day. I had a scare with two hours to go when I got hit in Turn 17. I had to push the last two hours and was able to get a gap, make the last stop and bring it home for the win. The car ran flawless all day. The crew put a great car under us, and we delivered."
Sweedler (Westport, Connecticut) made his second visit to the Sebring podium, this time standing on the top step.
"We are drinking champagne on top of the podium," Sweedler said. "This is our last GTC race before we break-out our new GT car at Long Beach and what a way to go out. It is just unbelievable. Dion is spectacular, what a driver. Townsend did a great job. The team put together an awesome car and what a day! It couldn't have gone better. What a memory - 12 hours of Sebring winners."
For Bell (San Luis Obispo, California) his first stint was a little rough. He had to pit out of sequence for a tire issue. In his second stint, he ran a flawless double and was able to take the lead and head the GTC class for 80% of his time in the car.
"I double stinted the first time out," Bell said. "The car was pretty good. I learned the hard way about flat spotting a tire really bad. I pitted and went back out and ran well. The second stint I pieced it all together, put in some good laps and got us the lead. It was my first sports car weekend, and it was fun. It was great to watch Dion and Bill bring it home. I was really impressed with the way Dion ran. He is a special talent. I am really happy with the way the week went. This is a great way to start off our relationship."
Team owner, Alex Job, celebrated win number eight at Sebring.
"What a day," Job said. "Dion did an excellent job all day. He ran fast laps and was really clean. He got hit in Turn 17, but kept his cool, and we got him back out. Townsend, for his first sports car race, is a true professional. He worked with the guys on data and was able to go to school on endurance racing for a week. This will payoff for us the rest of the season. Bill has been with us for three years, and it is great to celebrate a win at the biggest race of the season with him. A great job all around by the team and drivers today."
The television broadcast of today's race will run tomorrow, Sunday, March 18, 2012 at 12:00p.m. EDT
The American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron will travel to the Toyota Long Beach Grand Prix for round two on April 14.
Alex Job Racing is one of the most successful teams in ALMS history with 42 wins. This record is supported by 48 pole positions and 102 podium finishes. The team has won three championships (GT in 2002, 2003 and 2004) complimented by their two GT class wins at Le Mans. The team also boasts seven Sebring 12-hour victories.
The ALMS 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.