Leh Keen (Charleston, SC) had the controls of the No. 22 WeatherTech Porsche for the start of the once around the clock Florida classic. Keen quickly settled into third and began to issues with the front grip on the car. By the end of his stint the Continental tires had given everything. Turning the wheel over to Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Ill.), the University of Colorado at Boulder student was able to make up ground and turn the car over to Andrew Davis (Atlanta, Ga.) in fifth position.
As the team raced through the afternoon, the GTD field was swapping the lead. The WeatherTech Porsche led several laps throughout the afternoon and relinquished it as they cycled through pit stops. The pivotal moment came with just one hour to go when Keen pitted the car on lap 307. The team checked the pad width and determined that they had to change the front brake pads. The pad changed cost them two laps and any chance at a podium finish.
"We were a few millimeters short on the brake pads, which really summed up our day," Keen said. "The guys worked hard on the car all day. It was hot out there and we ran a lot of green laps which, at Sebring, takes its toll on the brake pads. The team did a great job with the strategy and pit stops to keep us up front. I thought we would be in good shape. There are a lot of quick cars in the class, but it did not work out. We had to do that brake change right there at the end. That is how it goes. I am happy for the 23 guys giving Alex and the team their tenth win. We will be ready for the next one at Laguna Seca."
"Not the way we wanted to finish the day," MacNeil said. "The Alex Job guys did a great job all day. We had some great pit stops that gave us track position. It came down to a few millimeters on the brake pads. The car was good all day. We were able to drive it and adjust on it for the heat. We will go to Laguna Seca, where we have been strong, and rebound."
"It is unfortunate," Davis said. "The WeatherTech Porsche ran well all week. The Alex Job guys did a great job in practice and the race. Sebring is such a battle and fight and it was all of that today. In my last stint on the last laps I was really struggling with the brakes. When I pitted the crew looked at them and we just had to put front pads on the car. That cost us a chance at the podium. It was an hour short. I know Leh would have been able to fight for a top position in that last run. We were competitive all day long. Sebring is a classic race because is it so difficult. I am thankful that Alex got his tenth win at Sebring."
Alex Job, team owner, knows the ups and downs of racing at Sebring.
"Sebring is a tough place to race," Job said. "Cooper, Leh and Andrew did a great job behind the wheel, we just came up a little short with the brakes. We had a good strategy and backed it up with strong pit stops. We had them poised for a good last stint until we had to change the front pads. That cost us two laps and any chance at a podium finish."
The TUDOR United SportsCar Championship will travel to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for the Continental Tire Grand Prix of Monterey to run May 3.
The TUDOR United SportsCar Championship GTD (GT Daytona) Class is made up of some the world's most sophisticated cars, including the Porsche 911 GT America, Ferrari 458, Aston Martin, BMW Z4, Viper SRT and Audi R8. All GTD Class cars run on the spec Continental tire.
Alex Job Racing is one of the most successful teams in sports car racing with 70 wins (since 1995); including two Rolex 24 GT Class wins in 1999 and 2013. This record is supported by 48 pole positions and 106 podium finishes. The team has won five championships (GTC 2013, 2012, GT in 2004, 2003 and 2002) complimented by their two GT class wins at Le Mans. The team also boasts nine Sebring 12-hour wins.
WeatherTech: WeatherTech, headquartered in Bolingbrook, Illinois, has long been recognized by the discerning automotive enthusiast as a supplier of accessories of unparalleled quality. In addition to the WeatherTech brand, the company supplies products to many automobile manufacturers (OEM) as an original equipment supplier. In fact, WeatherTech currently supplies accessories to all four German manufacturers of luxury automobiles as well as a host of other automobile manufacturers worldwide! More information can be viewed at www.weathertech.com
For more information about AJR, visit www.alexjobracing.com, or visit our fan page on Facebook by searching WeatherTech Racing.