DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Alex Job Racing drivers Bill Sweedler (Westport, Conn.), Townsend Bell (San Luis Obispo, Calif.), Frankie Montecalvo (Highlands, N.J.), and Pierre Kaffer (Germany) will start 16th in GTD at this weekend's 55th running of the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship Rolex 24 At Daytona at Daytona International Speedway.
Kaffer, an Audi factory driver, had the controls of the No. 23 Audi R8 LMS for this afternoon's 15 minute GTD qualifying session. His fastest lap was 1:48.798 on his fifth circuit around the World Center of Racing. Late in the session, Kaffer set out on his last flying lap to put the car in the top 10, but just didn't have the speed. The team had to settle for an eighth row starting position.
"Compared to the Roar, we're struggling a little bit with the set-up," Kaffer said. "We're still trying to fine tune the car. The cars are really close together [in terms of lap times]. I don't think we're that far off. My result was P16. I know the Audi will be competitive in the race. I can count on my team Alex Job Racing and my teammates. I know the car is reliable. I'm happy to be in the Audi R8 LMS. I think if we can figure out the little issue we're having, we'll have a good race."
"It was a disappointing qualifying," Team Owner Alex Job said. "It's a 24 hour race so it's not that important where you start. Obviously you want to qualify up front. It's a good confidence booster for the team. But, it's a long race. The conditions are going to be so different. Right now, it's humid and hot. Come the race, it's going to get very dry and very cold. The conditions are going to change a lot. They're going to be more like they were at the Roar on the last day on Sunday. I think the car will improve as the race starts. But right now, it's not the best car. The BOP [balance of performance] change after the Roar definitely hurt the Audi. And, it definitely benefitted the Ferrari a lot. I don't know what IMSA is going to do about that. I don't see that anybody has anything for the Ferrari at this point."
In 2013, Alex Job Racing won the GT class in an Audi with drivers Filipe Albuquerque, Oliver Jarvis, Edoardo Mortara, and Dion von Moltke. Albuquerque qualified that Audi sixth in GT.
The green flag drops on the Rolex 24 At Daytona at 2:30 p.m. (ET) Saturday, Jan. 28, with pre-race coverage on FOX starting at 2 p.m. (ET). FOX will carrying the first two and a half hours of the race before switching over to FOX Sports 2 from 5 to 10 p.m. (ET) and then again from 11 p.m. (ET) to 1 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 29. Race coverage will continue on FOX Sports 1 at 1 p.m. through the end of the race.
This season, race fans can following Alex Job Racing on Instagram @alexjobracing.
Alex Job Racing
Alex Job Racing is one of the most successful teams in sports car racing with 70 wins (since 1995); including two Rolex 24 GT Class wins in 1999 and 2013. This record is supported by 48 pole positions and 106 podium finishes. The team has won five championships (GTC 2013, 2012, GT in 2004, 2003 and 2002) complimented by their two GT class wins at Le Mans. The team also boasts ten Sebring 12-hour wins.
Audi of America
Audi began a new chapter in 2009 with the introduction of the Audi Sport customer racing program. For the first time, it was possible for motorsport customers to acquire a race car designed for the track. Since its inception, the success of the R8 LMS has been significant throughout GT3 racing series worldwide, with multiple victories in the Pirelli World Challenge since 2012. The all-new R8 LMS had strong endurance racing debuts, winning both the 2015 24 hours of Nürburgring and the 2016 Rolex 24 at Daytona, concluding the 2016 IMSA WeatherTech season with the Manufacturer's Championship in GTD. The Audi R8 LMS shares more than 50% of its parts with the Audi R8 street car including the naturally aspirated V10 5.2 liter engine, the Audi Space Frame and a variety of other components. Audi of America, Inc. and its U.S. dealers offer a full line of German-engineered luxury vehicles. AUDI AG is among the most successful luxury automotive brands globally. The Audi Group delivered over 1,800,000 vehicles to customers globally in 2015, and broke all-time company sales records for the 6th straight year in the U.S. Visit audiusa.com, audiusa.com/newsroom or audiusa.com/motorsport for more information regarding Audi vehicles and business topics.