TAVAVRES, Fla. – Alex Job Racing will compete in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup with a new Audi R8 LMS, shared by drivers Bill Sweedler, Townsend Bell and Frankie Montecalvo in 2017.
AJR is returning to the Rolex 24 Hours At Daytona on Jan 28-29 with Audi Sport customer racing to go for a second win with the brand. The team won with an Audi R8 LMS in 2013, the team’s second win at Daytona Int’l Speedway in the Rolex 24 after one in 1999.
Audi factory driver Pierre Kaffer will be the team’s fourth driver at Daytona.
“We are proud to partner with such a winning combination,” said Erin Keating, senior manager of motorsport and customer racing at Audi Sport. “Alex Job Racing, Bill Sweedler, Townsend Bell and Frankie Montecalvo together in the Audi R8 LMS will be a potent package this year in IMSA competition. We are looking forward to a great year of racing in the competitive GT Daytona class.”
Sweedler drove with AJR from 2010-2013 and posted a class win at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring in 2012, the first race driving with teammate Bell. The duo has achieved great success on the track, winning the Rolex 24 At Daytona in 2014 and the season ending Patron Endurance Cup in GT Daytona.
In 2015, they went on to win the WeatherTech Championship in GT Daytona and in 2016, they posted a GTE-Am Class victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
“It is nice to come full circle and be back with Alex Job for 2017,” Sweedler said. “I won my first big race with AJR at Sebring five years ago, so it is nice to be back in the family. The Audi R8 LMS is a great endurance package. Frankie is a welcome addition with a lot experience and speed. Townsend and I have had a lot of success in the longer races over the past four years and we are looking to continue winning with AJR, Audi and Frankie.”
“It feels like coming home,” Bell said. “This was my first sports car team and my first sports car win came with AJR at Sebring. I am so happy to be back. They are such a talented and experienced team that I am sure we will fall right back into the winning routine. I am looking forward to driving the Audi R8 LMS. Big thanks to everyone at Audi of America for helping us make this possible. It looks to be a very competitive and reliable piece.”
Montecalvo is the 2015 Pirelli World Challenge GTA driver champion. In 2016, he scored podium finishes in the PWC GTA category at the Circuit of the Americas and St. Petersburg while running a partial season.
“AJR is a renowned team and organization that I am very much looking forward to being a part of,” Montecalvo said. “I cannot wait to begin the 2017 season with AJR at Daytona. AJR has always had a great reputation and one that I have admired for years. I look forward to teaming up with two excellent and experienced drivers in Bill and Townsend. I hope to learn from both of them and to better my racing career. Audi has continuously been a very prestigious and dominant racing organization and one that I have always hoped to be a part of.”
“This has been a very nice surprise for us,” team owner Alex Job said. “I was looking at giving everyone the holiday week off and now we are working overtime. We have an all-new car in transit from Brad Kettler’s (director of operations-engineering at Audi Sport customer racing USA) shop up in Ohio to begin prepping for the Roar weekend. What makes it even nicer is being back with seasoned veterans Bill and Townsend. They have built a very impressive trophy case over the past few years and we hope to add to that this year.”
“We have been talking to Frankie for a few months and it is great that we can have him as a part of this program. He is fast, knows the circuits and has a strong endurance background. Being back with Audi is a bonus. We are one-for-one with wins with the Audi brand.”
CREDIT: Alex Job Racing