- Lotus Alex Job Racing's (AJR) Bill Sweedler and Townsend Bell are ready for the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) Northeast Grand Prix to be run at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut on Sat. July 7.
The team took the opportunity to take-part in the ALMS sanctioned test at Virginia International Raceway last month. Lotus AJR is still developing the Lotus Evora GT and is coming to Lime Rock with some subtle upgrades that should equal to better performance for Sweedler and Bell.
For Sweedler this is very much a home race. Sweedler, from Westport Conn., is very comfortable around the 1.5-mile, seven turn track. A short track should suit the handling characteristics of the Lotus Evora GT.
"I'm really excited to be racing in my backyard again," Sweedler said. "I think I'm the only ALMS participant who lives in Connecticut, and it is always nice to be racing in front of the home crowd. Lime Rock should prove to be a spectacular venue considering the track is more akin to a MMA cage fight! Our Lotus Evora has been through several upgrades during the Le Mans break. AJR has really been putting in the extra effort to make sure we have a good showing for our guests and sponsors Battery Tender, Yokohama, William Rast, and Scheckter Guitars!"
Bell, San Luis Obispo, Calif., is also no stranger to Lime Rock Park. The Californian is a product of the Skip Barber Racing School and Lime Rock Park has been the home of the school for years.
"Lime Rock is a great place to go in mid-summer," Bell said. "I last raced at Lime Rock Park in 1999. The track holds a special place on my racing resume. It was the site of my first win in the Barber Dodge Pro Series. I have not been there since the reconfiguration, so I am anxious to take my first laps on the new layout. The track is tight. It still has the 'big boy' downhill Turn Seven that is really a signature part of that track. It leads onto the longest straightaway, so that is a key place for us to focus on the handling of the Lotus Evora GT. With the tight layout, it really puts a premium on handling, which we have with the Evora. Maybe this will level the horsepower playing field a little for us this weekend."
Alex Job, team principal, and the team have been working on the Lotus Evora