Green Flag for RSR Jaguar XKR GT2
RSR team completes first race with the Jaguar XKR GT2 this weekend
MONTEREY, California (October 10, 2009) – The RSR Jaguar XKR GT2 took its first green flag today at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and put on a performance that has the team pleased with its weekend efforts and ready to continue preparation for a full-season American Le Mans Series effort in 2010.
"We treated this as a test and it was certainly a test for us to overcome,” said RSR Team Owner / Driver Paul Gentilozzi. “It is difficult to come to your first race like this without much on-track time with a new car, but we approached this event cautiously. We wanted to start the race and go through all the things that were required during the race. We had a lot of difficulty along the way, but what was important to me is how hard the RSR crew worked. No one ever quit and we had 13 guys doing everything they could to get the RSR Jaguar XKR GT2 on track. That is one of the big positives I take out of the weekend.
The first green flag for the RSR Jaguar XKR GT2 took place this afternoon during the Monterey Sports Car Championships, the season finale for the ALMS Series in Monterey, California. Marc Goossens had the honors of making the start behind the wheel. Two successful pit stops were made by the RSR crew and Goossens was able to go 1 hour 21 minutes in the allotted four hour race before having to retire because of damage to the drive train. The #33 Jaguar XKR GT2 recorded its fastest race time of 1:29.806 around the challenging 2.238-mile permanent road course of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
"My overall experience is very positive,” said Goossens. “I think the team handled things well despite the setbacks we ran into over the weekend. It made for not having much track time, but I am encouraged from the race because we had an hour and a half of good running time. We were able to gather data and get a good feel of the car. Unfortunately we had to end the race early with a broken CV joint. But in general, it was a good lesson and there are many things we can take away from this experience. There is a lot of potential in this car – it just takes test days and that is what the team is working on. It has been a pleasure working with the RSR team this weekend and being part of this critical development time for the Jaguar XKR GT2.
This weekend’s entry for RSR marked the team’s first official ALMS series start. “It was good to get our first experience at a full ALMS race weekend, from a procedural standpoint,” commented RSR Technical Director John Gentilozzi. “I can’t say enough about how good the IMSA / ALMS officials were in working with us and making sure that we had all of the information that we needed. They are truly a first-class organization. We are very excited about being here.
Paul Gentilozzi wrapped up this weekend by noting, “We want to thank Yokohama for all their support this weekend. They were by our side providing us with tires and valuable technical support. I have huge faith in them and with everything else that happened we knew we could count on the tires to get us to where we needed to be at the end of the weekend.
The RSR team will head back to their East Lansing, Michigan-based shop to prepare for more on-track testing within the next couple of weeks in preparation for the 2010 American Le Mans Series season opener March 20 in Sebring, Florida.
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