Lotus Alex Job Racing Ready for Tight Lime Rock Weekend
Home race for Sweedler and measuring stick for Evora GT
TAVARES, Fla. – Lotus Alex Job Racing’s (AJR) Bill Sweedler and Townsend Bell are ready for the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) Northeast Grand Prix to be run at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut on Sat. July 7.
The team took the opportunity to take-part in the ALMS sanctioned test at Virginia International Raceway last month. Lotus AJR is still developing the Lotus Evora GT and is coming to Lime Rock with some subtle upgrades that should equal to better performance for Sweedler and Bell.
For Sweedler this is very much a home race. Sweedler, from Westport Conn., is very comfortable around the 1.5-mile, seven turn track. A short track should suit the handling characteristics of the Lotus Evora GT.
“I’m really excited to be racing in my backyard again,” Sweedler said. “I think I’m the only ALMS participant who lives in Connecticut, and it is always nice to be racing in front of the home crowd. Lime Rock should prove to be a spectacular venue considering the track is more akin to a MMA cage fight! Our Lotus Evora has been through several upgrades during the Le Mans break. AJR has really been putting in the extra effort to make sure we have a good showing for our guests and sponsors Battery Tender, Yokohama, William Rast, and Scheckter Guitars!”
Bell, San Luis Obispo, Calif., is also no stranger to Lime Rock Park. The Californian is a product of the Skip Barber Racing School and Lime Rock Park has been the home of the school for years.
“Lime Rock is a great place to go in mid-summer,” Bell said. “I last raced at Lime Rock Park in 1999. The track holds a special place on my racing resume. It was the site of my first win in the Barber Dodge Pro Series. I have not been there since the reconfiguration, so I am anxious to take my first laps on the new layout. The track is tight. It still has the ‘big boy’ downhill Turn Seven that is really a signature part of that track. It leads onto the longest straightaway, so that is a key place for us to focus on the handling of the Lotus Evora GT. With the tight layout, it really puts a premium on handling, which we have with the Evora. Maybe this will level the horsepower playing field a little for us this weekend.”
Alex Job, team principal, and the team have been working on the Lotus Evora GT since coming home from Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
“We have been working very hard on the Evora since Laguna,” Job said. “We did some work on the car and then went to VIR and came back to the shop with another list. We are still very much in the development stages with the car, but Lime Rock will be another measuring stick for our progress. The schedule gets tighter now, but we are committed to making the car better each time out right through to Petit Le Mans in October.”
The American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix, July 6-7 at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut can be viewed live streaming on July 7 starting at 2:45 p.m. EDT on ESPN 3.com; live qualifying can be watched July 6 at 3:05 p.m. EDT on ESPN 3.com and the television broadcast can be seen July 7 at 4:00 p.m. EDT on ESPN 2.
Alex Job Racing is one of the most successful teams in sports car racing. The team’s resume includes: ALMS GT series championships in 2004, 2003, 2002; a record 22 consecutive ALMS GT pole positions; two-time 24-Hour of Le Mans GT class winners; Eight 12-hour of Sebring wins in 2012, 2010, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 1999 and 1995.
The ALMS GT Class is production-based, moderately-modified two-wheel drive race cars comprise the GT class – BMW M3, Corvette C6.R, Ferrari F458 GT, Ford GT-R, Jaguar XKR GT, Lotus Evora and Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. The GT cars share many similarities to their showroom brands. With top speeds of up to 180 mph, these elite GTs produce between 450-500 horsepower and have a minimum weight of 1,145 kilograms (2,480 pounds). All GT race cars have green Leader Light System race position lights and green car numbers.