October 14-16 2011, Laguna Seca, CA
After ten grueling hours in the season finale of the American Le Mans Series, Brian and Alex Job Racing captured a long anticipated podium finish, but not without the season long drama that has plagued the #23 car.
The high expectations at the season finale of the American Le Mans Series at the Road America circuit, proved Alex Job Racing drivers Brian Wong, Leh Keen, and Bill Sweedler could have a successful podium finish. The first part of the weekend, the #23 Battery Tender/ Alex Job Racing Porsche was at the top of the speed charts in all four practices. Despite being the slowest of the six classes, 55 other cars entered in Petit Le Mans, all three drivers avoided any issues on track. For the qualifying session, Keen was in the drivers seat. The GTC competition proved to be tough; all six GTC car qualified just hundredths of a second apart. Keen put the #23 Battery Tender/ Alex Job Racing Porsche in the fourth starting position for the ten hours of Petit Le Mans.
Keen took the green flag starting from the second row in the GTC class. By turn three, he had gained two positions and coming down the hill through turn twelve, Keen lead the GTC field. Keen continued to hold onto the lead for his two-hour stint when a scheduled driver change and pit stop put Wong in the driver’s seat. Holding onto the lead for his hour and a half stint, Wong handed the #23 Battery Tender/ Alex Job Racing Porsche over to Sweedler. During Sweedler’s two-hour stint, he battled in the top three with less than five hours remaining. Wong was back in the driver’s seat for another stint where he battled up to second and held his ground for the next two hours. Keen was back in the car to close the ten-hour race. The last pit stop of the race, Keen held onto second with ten seconds behind the leader, #54 Black Swan Racing Porsche. Taking a full take of fuel and two left tires, Keen was first out of the pits with a fifteen second advantage over the #54 Black Swan Racing Porsche. Racing his way through the night on the Road Atlanta course, Keen was hit in turn five by a GT car, causing front-end damage. Although minor damage, Keen lost valuable time as the #54 Black Swan Racing Porsche took over the first position. A late race caution flew just twenty-minutes remaining in the race, allowing Keen to make up valuable time on the leader. But the traffic on the restart didn’t allow Keen to make any ground on the leader, bringing the #23 Battery Tender/ Alex Job Racing Porsche in second place at Petit Le Mans. A difficult ending to a trying season. The Alex Job #23 Porsche had promise all season, at every race, to be disappointed starting at Sebring and ending at Road Atlanta.
Following the race, the Alex Job Racing team learned that the driver of the #54 Black Swan Racing Porsche was just two-minutes shy of his maximum driver time of four hours consistently in the car. Just one more caution lap would put the driver of the #54 Black Swan Racing Porsche over the time limit, ultimately disqualifying them from the race. Those two-minutes were the biggest difference between a win and a second-place finish for the #23 Battery Tender/ Alex Job Racing Porsche. Although disappointed of losing the win, Wong, Keen, and Sweedler proved they could capture a podium finish rightfully deserved.
Please stay in touch with Brian Wong and World Stage Racing to see where 2012 takes this talented team and driver.