TAVARES, FLA, (Apr. 10, 2012) – Alex Job Racing’s (AJR) Cooper MacNeil and Leh Keen are taking their GTC points lead to theAmerican Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach to be run on Sat., Apr. 14.
MacNeil (Hinsdale, IL) and Keen (Charleston, SC) will be sporting a new black look on their No. 22 WeatherTech/Alex Job Racing Porsche GTC car. Keen will be running his second event at Long Beach and was a second-place finisher there last year. MacNeil will be making his first start through the 1.98-mile, 11-turn concrete canyon course surrounding the Long Beach Convention Center.
“This will be my first time at Long Beach, and I am looking forward to the race,” MacNeil said. “I have driven street courses before and love them. I’m definitely looking forward to running this street course in the WeatherTech/AJR Porsche. We are leading the points in GTC, and the goal for Long Beach is to maintain – if not expand our lead. I won at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in the Porsche last year, and that is pretty much a closed street course. The team has a lot of data on the track, and Leh has been on the podium there, so we are ready!”
Keen is making his second visit to the Long Beach circuit. He finished second last year in an AJR Porsche and is looking to improve by one more place this weekend.
“Just doing the race last year will no doubt help this year,” Keen said. “I have seen, driven and raced on the track. I showed up last year without doing any of those things. Long Beach is a special breed of track, being a true street course. Passing is very difficult, and the walls are always close. Danger lurks constantly. As always, Alex Job Racing will be running a stellar program. We will set-up the WeatherTech Porsche to turn on a dime. On these tight street circuits it’s important the car does exactly what you tell it to do through the steering wheel. For an endurance race, like Sebring, we set-up the car with a little under steer to be comfortable for the 12-hour race. For this all out ‘fenders to the wall’ sprint race at Long Beach we have the car a bit edgier and direct through the steering wheel. Braking zones are really the only place to pass on the track, so the car must be perfect on the brakes.”
Alex Job, team owner, has two drivers with no fear heading to Long Beach.
“We have two young guys in Cooper and Leh in the 22 WeatherTech Porsche,” Job said. “They have no fear, which is what you need on a track like Long Beach. But you also need to have respect. We will have the points lead when we take the green flag on Saturday. Our goal is to have it when we take the checkered as well. Leh finished on the podium with us here last year and Cooper won in Montreal, so they both have solid street racing experience. We are looking for another strong weekend to follow up our success at Sebring.”
The race will be televised Sat., Apr. 14 at 7:30 p.m., ET on ESPN2; Live streaming of the race will begin at 7:15 p.m. on ESPN3, Sat., Apr., 14; Qualifying can be seen on-line at 8 p.m. Fri., Apr. 13.
Alex Job Racing is one of the most successful teams in ALMS history with 42 wins. This record is supported by 48 pole positions and 102 podium finishes. The team has won three championships (GT in 2002, 2003 and 2004) complimented by their two GT class wins at Le Mans. The team also boasts eight Sebring 12 hour victories.
The ALMS GTC category is specific to one of the most popular factory produced racing cars in the world, the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. Developed for Porsche’s one-make series around the world, the new version of the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup is based on the road-going 911 GT3 RS. The power unit featured in the new 911 GT3 Cup is largely identical to the production engine of the 911 GT3 RS with the same output of 450 bhp and the same maximum engine speed of 8,500 rpm.