The American Le Mans Series (ALMS) race at Mosport marked a significant milestone for the JaguarRSR as Bruno Junqueira recorded the GT class' fastest lap during the two-hour, 45-minute races.
Ken Wilden had qualified the no.99 Jaguar, but with Junqueira taking the car for the start of the race it had moved into the top ten by lap 17, while setting similar lap times to the class leaders. A full course caution, bunching the field up, should have allowed the rapid Brazilian to advance further up the field, but a split oil line forced the sacrifice of nearly half an hour to make repairs before returning to track.
Now, unfortunately, out of contention for the top ten finish his pace perhaps deserved Junqueira resumed his charge. Even at the end of his stint in the car, which lasted nearly until the two hour mark in the race, Junqueira was still setting quick laps, turning the fastest GT lap of the race – 1:18.102 – in the final lap before passing the car to Wilden for the final stint. The Canadian took the checkered flag in 15th place.
“The car was real good today,” said Junqueira after his run. “I really enjoyed driving here at Mosport, this was a great event. It was such a shame about the oil leak because our race pace was really good and we would have finished sixth or so. I am happy that the car is getting better and better and I look forward to our next race. Our Dunlop tires were fantastic today, consistent and fast for the entire stint, obviously good enough to help us achieve the fastest race lap.”
“We knew that we would be good at this race track,” Paul Gentilozzi, JaguarRSR principal partner said. “We worked through the first technical bugs and obviously we had a very fast car in the race – the fastest GT car in lap time. But more importantly, early in the race Bruno was passing guys, catching the field and when we look at the fifth and sixth place cars, he was catching them throughout the race. So we were really glad to show that. It was a failed oil line that caused the problems, the guys took it back to the truck, fixed it and got it back out – we don’t quit.”
The sister Jaguar XKR of P.J. Jones and Rocky Moran Jr. had a less eventful race, starting from inside the top ten. The pair spent most of the race chasing ninth place, running consistent laps – though Moran Jr had to avoid the wall during what he admitted was one “really exiting moment” at turn eight.
However the all-American team were robbed of a top ten finish by a puncture that dropped them down to eleventh.