Robertson Racing’s team manger H. Smith reflects about the progress made by the independent team that faces off each race against the factory-based racing teams in the GT2 class of the American Le Mans Series.

What was the start of the season like for Robertson Racing?

At the beginning of the season, in our early testing at Sebring, we lost the original chassis that we had. The original one we built was crashed, so before winter test we bought another chassis, built a new car and went on to compete with chassis 004 (the original was 002).

We finished up in a reasonably competitive position in last year (2009), but at the start of the first race this season at Sebring, we were disappointed in how much we were off the pace.

At Sebring we fell upon bad luck and crashed the car heavily and tore the engine out of the car. The team made incredible progress the initial days at Sebring and was able to refabricate the chassis and remount the engine while fixing all the body work to get the car successfully out on the track for the 12-hour race.

We had a bumpy start and not the kind of start we wanted for sure.
What was the team’s strategy for each race weekend?

Up until the first DNF (Did Not Finish) at Mosport, we had gone from Petit 2008 to Mosport 2010 and finished every race.

We have a bunch of guys out there that would not quit and who have a mentality that we will always start and finish every race we are in.
Were two entries always the master plan for the team?

We have talked about running two cars for many years. It has always been talked about as a way for the No. 40 car to move forward.

We decided to do the development on the second car when the single car got to a competitive level. Around June of 2010, the chassis 002 (that we couldn’t repair in time from earlier in the season) was repaired in Detroit. This chassis was the basis for the No. 04 car and from Salt Lake City on, we made the decision that we would run two cars at Petit Le Mans.

What was the emotion of the team going into the final race of the season?

The moral of the team picked up when we knew we had another car to compete with. It was right down to the wire for the No. 04 because we didn’t turn a wheel until a week before race week at Petit.

Going into Petit, we had two competitive cars and a great lineup of personalities – ranging from gentleman to professional drivers.
How did the second car perform?

The overall result that we got out of it was more disappointing than we would have liked. We got bumped at the beginning of the race, lost track position, and didn’t seem to catch any of the yellows right. At the end of the day, it came down to luck – bad luck – for losing positions on the track.

However, the team finished both cars in the 10-hour race – quite an accomplishment. And there was an awful lot of people that sacrificed to make it happen – people that were involved in Robertson Racing for the last four years to whom we owe a lot of thanks.

Looking ahead, what will we expect to see in 2011 for Robertson Racing?

Our goal in 2011 is to run two cars. We need to find some funding to make that a reality, but at this point in time, our intention would be to run both cars. The driver line-up is still being decided, but the group we had at Petit, I have to say, was excellent.

source http://www.americanlemans.com

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