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[source: Alex Job Racing]
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The WeatherTech Racing Audi R8 is running fourth at the six hour mark of the 51st GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Rolex 24 at Daytona.
Filipe Albuquerque, of Portugal, started sixth in the No. 24 WeatherTech Racing Audi R8 and was up to second by the time he made his first pit stop on lap 22. From there, he continued to maintain pace with the race leader before teammate Oliver Jarvis, of England, took control on lap 45.
“I was really safe with it [the car] and I was analyzing the pace of the other cars,” Albuquerque said. “We definitely have good pace. I had the pace to be P1. Towards the end [of my stint], the DP passed me in the wrong spot. But, I’m happy. We have no problems and the car feels safe.”
Jarvis spent most of his first stint between sixth and eighth until just before the green flag pit stops on lap 71. By then, he made it to P3 before coming to pit lane to take fuel only. He started his second stint in third and briefly took the GT race lead on lap 93 before handing the No. 24 Audi R8 over Edoardo Mortara, of Italy.
“I am really please with my stint,” Jarvis said. “In my first stint, I struggled a little bit with the car. I got held up quite a bit by another car so I just looked after the rear tires. On my second stint, I came on the radio and said I was going to start pushing. Luckily the rear tires were in great condition and the car just got better and better. I was able to bring the car in P1. The team is doing a great job. Hopefully we continue like this.”
Mortara started his double stint third and ran consistently fast race laps. By time he exited the car on lap 137, he had moved up to second before teammate Dion von Moltke, of Coral Gables, Fla., got in the car.
“The idea was not to take any risk,” Mortara said. “I was fighting quite hard against the Porsche. I saw that they were faster than me so I let them go. At the end of the run, I started to attack a little bit more and close the gap again. When we came in to pit, the leader was just in front of me. We need to keep up the good work.”
SPEED Channel will carry live coverage of the Rolex 24 at Daytona on TV and the Internet. Live TV coverage is from 3 to 11 p.m. Jan. 26. During the overnight hours from 11 p.m. to 9 a.m. Jan. 26/27, fans can watch the race on the Internet atSPEEDTV.com. Live TV coverage resumes at 9 a.m. through the race finish Jan. 27.
The GRAND-AM GT category suits the Audi R8 GRAND-AM. The R8 features a 90º V10 engine longitudinally mounted with a displacement of 5.204 liter / 317.6 cu. in. Framing the R8 are carbon fiber and aluminum body panels with an aluminum space frame. Suspension consists of front and rear double wishbones, coil springs over hydraulic dampers with anti-roll bars. Steering is rack-and-pinion, power assisted. Stopping the R8 are ventilated steel brake discs. The gearbox is a six-speed sequential driving the rear wheels. The R8 weighs in at 1250 kilo / 2775.8 lbs.