Sweedler and Bell to Start Team West/AJR Ferrari from Sixth Row in Baltimore


BALTIMORE (Aug. 30, 2013) – Bill Sweedler and Townsend Bell will start the American Le Mans Series Grand Prix of Baltimore from the sixth row in their No. 23 Team West/Alex Job Racing/Boardwalk Ferrari 458 tomorrow afternoon.

Bell (San Luis Obispo, Calif.) had the controls of the Team West/AJR Ferrari for qualifying. The Californian posted a time of 1:31.494 good for eleventh on the GT grid. The 2.02-mile, 12-turn temporary Baltimore street circuit surrounds Camden Yards, home of the Baltimore Orioles baseball team, has the GT field very tight on the time sheet. Teammate Bill Sweedler (Westport, Conn.) is returning to the team from a two race absence.

“The car is handling really well,” Bell said. “We are soft in a couple areas right now with grip and a torque deficit. The whole GT field is separated by 1.7-seconds, which will get even tighter in the race tomorrow. The Team West/AJR guys do a great job to prepare the car. We never like being at the back, but we will play it safe and take advantage of every opportunity in the race tomorrow. The speed through the chicane goes up in direct proportion to which the damage to your floor goes down. There is quite a bit of time there if you can get it just right as the tires that line it keep moving.”

Sweedler is glad to be back behind the wheel of the 458 GT this weekend.

“It is good to be back with Townsend and the team,” Sweedler said. “I really like street racing and Baltimore is a real challenge. It is similar to Long Beach, which I really like, so I am comfortable in the concrete confines. Yokohama has a good tire under the car, we just need a little more help on the power and torque curve to get us on a more equal level playing field with the rest of the GT competitors. The Team West/AJR team has the car handling great. Tomorrow we need to run a clean race and really be on our toes in the pits and with our strategy.”

Eduardo Espindola, team co-owner, likes the prospects for Baltimore.

“Anything can happen and usually does in a street race,” Espindola said. “Bill and Townsend have a good record with street races and I am looking forward to an exciting race tomorrow. We have some ground to make up, but with our pit work and poise we can have a good day.”

Alex Job, team co-owner, is ready for a good race.

“The GT field is very tight,” Job said. “Passing will be difficult tomorrow and there will probably be more than a few incidents. We need to run a smart race on the track and in the pits to be successful. Bill and Townsend are both smart drivers and will take advantage of what comes and be ready to avoid everything else. Our pit work and strategy will need to be spot on as the race is only 120-minutes long.”