ALMS News: McKenna Automotive Backs Alex Job Racing
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14 FEB 2001
McKENNA AUTOMOTIVE PICKS ALEX JOB RACING PORSCHES;TEAM PLANS ALMS CHAMPIONSHIP REPEAT
TAVARES, Fla. - Alex Job Racing's two new Porsche race cars will be sponsored by the McKenna Automotive Group, a major southern California automotive retailer, in the team's quest to become the American Le Mans Series GT class champion.
The 2001 ALMS season opens March 4 at with the Leather Center Grand Prix of Texas at Texas Motor Speedway, near Ft. Worth.
Alex Job Racing, which won the 1999 GT class Manufacturers Championship for Porsche, and the Drivers Championship, will race a pair of just-delivered Porsche 911 GT3RS cars in their ALMS season of 11 races in the U. S., Canada, and Europe. All races will be televised on NBC-TV, Fox Sports and Speedvision.
The AJR cars are based in the team's new, 10,000 square foot shop in Tavares.
"McKenna Automotive was an AJR associate sponsor during our 1999 championship season," said Job. "We are thrilled to now have them aboard as title sponsor, and we are continuing our association with Mobil 1 Synthetic Oil and Michelin tires."
The McKenna Automotive Group, based near Los Angeles, owns five car dealerships there and three in Hawaii, selling 12 brands of cars ranging from Porsche to Hummer.
Randy Pobst, of Melbourne, Fla., who helped guide the AJR Porsches to ALMS wins last year at Mosport and Texas Motor Speedway, returns to the AJR team this year, joining 1999 AJR Petit Le Mans driver Sascha Maassen, of Germany.
Two new additions to the AJR team are Germans Lucas Luhr and Christian Menzel. Pobst, Luhr and Menzel began their 2001 racing season with a win in the Daytona 24-Hour earlier this month, driving for another team.
"Jeff Gamroth and Jim Higgs return as the crew chiefs for the new cars, and Greg Fordahl is once again our team engineer," said Job. "Having Greg, Jim and Jeff, plus a solid driver lineup, helps drain some of the pressure that comes from just moving into our new shop and working with two brand new race cars. They're a valuable asset."
In the 1999 ALMS championship season, Alex Job Racing was the first American team to have the new Porsche 911 GT3R race car. The GT3RS is the more-aerodynamic, higher-horsepower update to that car.
"Many teams have Porsche 911 GT3RS cars this year, all with the same equipment we have. And this year we have to race against a second BMW team, and the new Callaway Corvette effort," Job said. "Our advantage is having four solid drivers and an experienced crew. The competition will make this year's championship more difficult to win, but when we do win it, that'll make the it just that much more valuable," Job adds. "We are very pleased to continue our relationship with Porsche. I've prepared Porsches throughout my career, and it is good to know Porsche recognizes that our team can prepare winners, as we have done 14 times over the years."
"Bringing Michelin to the team early in the 1999 season made a huge difference in our winning performance," he added, "and the Mobil 1 Synthetic racing oil helped keep our engines running like a Porsche engine should, even in the 110-degree heat of the Texas race last year."