JaguarRSR ON THE PROWL FOR ENDURANCE FIGHT AT MAZDA RACEWAY LAGUNA SECA
- 19 May 2010
The JaguarRSR race team returns to California this week for Round Three of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. It was seven months ago that the JaguarRSR XKR GT took its first green flag on this very same track with Marc Goossens and Paul Gentilozzi behind the wheel. Ryan Dalziel joins the driver line-up in 2010 as the event duration has increased to a six-hour endurance run.
JaguarRSR has been busy since its last race at Long Beach. Making good use of the data collected during that event, changes were made in preparation for a test at Road Atlanta. During a two-day run, the #75 JaguarRSR XKR GT completed nearly 500 fast, trouble-free miles. The team looks to build on this success this weekend.
All three drivers have previous experience on the 2.238-mile, 11-turn road course that features the famed Corkscrew. Gentilozzi has raced there 15 times with four wins combined between IMSA GT and Trans-Am. Goossens has made four starts, three in Daytona Prototypes in the Grand-Am Series and his first ALMS event with JaguarRSR last year. The Belgium fell 1.504 seconds shy of taking the overall victory in 2008, ironically enough that loss was to Dalziel. With five starts under his belt on the Monterey peninsula road course, Dalziel finished as the runner up in the Atlantic Series in 2003 and 2004, runner up in 2007 in Grand-Am competition and won in 2008.
The Jaguar XKR has been on the podium twice under Gentilozzi's helm in Trans-Am Series competition at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. It won from pole in 2004, recorded the fastest race lap in 2001 and 2004, and has led its share of race laps.
The team will take to the track on Thursday evening as part of the Promoter Test Day before the race weekend officially kicks off on Friday, May 21. There will be two practice sessions on Friday before qualifying at 3:30 p.m. PDT for the GT and GTC classes. The American Le Mans Series Monterey Presented by Patrón race takes the green flag at 2:30 p.m. local time with a six-hour duration.
WHAT THE DRIVERS HAVE TO SAY
Ryan Dalziel, co-Driver of the #75 JaguarRSR XKR GT
"I am really proud to be part of the JaguarRSR GT program, and proud of the work these guys have done in a short time. I think finishing at Long Beach was a turning point for the team and I know that going into Round 3 we are confident that we will be closer to the front runners in the GT class. We still have a lot of work to do, but I think everyone will see a big gain from JaguarRSR this weekend.
I love Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. I remember going to this track for the first time as a spectator late 2001 and being blow away by the venue and layout of the circuit. It is one of those race tracks that as a driver you always want to have an opportunity to compete at in your career. My first few laps there was in an Atlantic car in 2002 and I remember after my first run coming in and saying to my engineer "that was awesome". It is such a fast flowing track and I love it. By far my most memorable moment at this track was winning there in 2008 in a Grand-Am Daytona Prototype. Not only was I two laps down when I took over the car from my teammate with around two hours to go, but my now JaguarRSR teammate Marc Goossens was who I passed for the lead. We went down the cork screw in historic, dramatic fashion bumping and bouncing over the dirt on the outside run-off area. We both didn't want to give up our positions. Thankfully I came out ahead and won the race. Marc wasn't too happy at the time but I know he respected me for not letting that win slip away. He and I sill laugh about that race."
Paul Gentilozzi, co-Driver of the #75 JaguarRSR XKR GT
"Sebring was disappointing, Long Beach was better but still not near our potential. Our recent test at Road Atlanta showed promise and good reliability. The #75 JaguarRSR XKR GT should be suited for this track; it is about momentum and carrying speed as opposed to acceleration out of the slow corners.
My first win at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca was in 1992 in IMSA GTS beating Tommy Kendall. I like the track and feel it is a significant part of road racing in North America. We will work to get a car set-up that will suit us for the six-hour race. As much as we care about this race, we also have to be cautious as we have to leave for Le Mans five days after."
Marc Goossens, co-Driver of the #75 JaguarRSR XKR GT
"We are still going through a development stage with the #75 JaguarRSR XKR GT. The team is working flat out on the car and it shows as we get stronger and stronger, both on speed and on reliability each time we take to the track.
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is one of those tracks in the U.S. that is also well known in Europe. To drive it, it is pretty interesting as there is a mix of slower and faster turns, as well as some challenging elevation changes. Obviously the famous "Corkscrew" chicane is quiet an experience, lap after lap. One of the highlights for me at this venue is taking the green flag in the JaguarRSR XKR GT. It was the first race we competed in since the start of the program. Being the lead driver for that race last year was a real honor."
FOLLOW THE RACE
The American Le Mans Series Monterey presented by Patrón from Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is a six-hour endurance race set for 2:30 p.m. PT on Saturday, May 22. The full race will be streamed live online at americanlemans.com starting at 5:30 p.m. ET in partnership with TodoCast.tv. CBS Sports will broadcast the event from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 29. Live radio coverage will be available on American Le Mans Radio presented by Porsche - a production of Radio Show Limited - as well as Sirius Channel 127 and XM Channel 242. Visit the Series' schedule page for ticket and accommodation information. Live Timing and Scoring, track schedule, entry list and much, much more will be available on Racehub at americanlemans.com.
International coverage: Watch 3-hour American Le Mans Series highlights from Laguna Seca on Sunday 30 May at 4pm (BST) on Motors TV.
Follow the team on their Facebook page: RSR Jaguar.
For images of the JaguarRSR XKR GT, please go to: http://www.media.jaguarrsr.co.uk.