JaguarRSR TAKES FIRST CHECKERED FLAG; FINISHES 11TH IN CLASS AT LONG BEACH
LONG BEACH, California (April 17, 2010) - One step at time, each moment getting closer to the goal - that was the mindset for the JaguarRSR team in Long Beach as they took their first checkered flag with the #75 Jaguar XKR GT in Round 2 of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron.After running the reconnaissance laps ahead of the green flag for today's Tequila Patron American Le Mans Series at Long Beach race, the #75 JaguarRSR XKR GT was warmed up and ready to go, except for one setback: a sticky throttle. On the grid the JaguarRSR crew worked diligently to resolve the issue before the 36-car field was released. Unfortunately, as a result of the problem a portion of the throttle linkage had slipped causing the throttle position sensor to read erroneously reducing the power of the 5.0 liter AJ133 powerplant.
After 28 laps around the 1.968-mile temporary Long Beach street circuit, Paul Gentilozzi was requested by the team to make the first and only pit stop of the race.
"It was unfortunate; we got the engine really comfortable this weekend and then we had a throttle sticking issue on the grid," said Gentilozzi. "We tried to fix the situation by backing the throttle stop off to give us just about three-quarter throttle and that didn't completely resolve the issue as we discovered during my stint. We came in, took the airbox off, fixed it and sent Ryan (Dalziel) back out. It still stuck a little on him, but he did the right thing, paced himself to safely bring it home to the checkered."
Despite the issues, Gentilozzi was able to work his way to the top ten before having to pit. The #75 JaguarRSR XKR GT's best time of the race was a 1:26.755 recorded by Gentilozzi on Lap 3. The car finished 11th in the GT class, 32nd overall.
"It has been a positive weekend when we look at where we were at Sebring and where we are today," Dalziel commented. "It is the first time the #75 JaguarRSR XKR GT took the checkered flag and that is a big stepping stone for us towards where we need to be. The car showed good pace for the weekend and we just got a little bit unlucky with some stuff during the race. All in all, it was a good weekend and we are ready to go to the next one."
Gentilozzi added, "It was our first checkered flag and we're pleased with that, but we have a much higher expectation. We won't be satisfied until we return Jaguar to its proper place in the field - at the front. We are going to keep working and we will get there."
The JaguarRSR team will have a couple of weeks off before Round 3 - the American Le Mans Series Monterey presented by Patron at the famed Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, May 20-22. The team will return to the site where the JaguarRSR XKR GT took its first green flag, but will have to prepare for another endurance event as the race has been lengthened to six hours of racing on the Monterey Peninsula.