JaguarRSR came to Road America for Round Six of the 2011 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron with great expectations. From the very first time on the track the JaguarRSR XKR GT showed top-six performance, top speed and top mile per hour in every session. Coming into the Time Warner Road Race Showcase today the team anticipated a top five finish.
Leading up to the race, the #99 JaguarRSR XKR GT was showing great times and looked to be very competitive for the race. Ken Wilden was the starting driver after his teammate Bruno Junqueira qualified the car eighth on the GT grid. The #99 crew knew there was an issue on the pace lap just before the start of the race when they had a major fuel pressure malfunction.
JaguarRSR uses a five-liter direct injected engine that relies on two high pressure mechanical fuel pumps to supply the direct injected system. The car had inconsistent pressures that resulted eventually in a complete pump failure.
Driving the #98 JaguarRSR XKR GT, PJ Jones took the green flag this afternoon 15th on the GT grid. Just about thirty minutes into the race, he had made his way into the top ten. After an hour of clean, smart racing and avoiding a few close calls, the American came into pit lane for a routine pit stop and went back out to finish his two-hour stint. Rocky Moran, Jr. then took over. After 336 miles on the challenging Elkhart Lake circuit, the #98 JaguarRSR falls short with another fuel pump failure. The JaguarRSR crew was able to change the pump in pit lane and get back out there to take the checkered flag to finish 13th in class.
"This was so bitter, sweet of a weekend because we came here knowing that we would have fast race cars and Dunlop would have fast tires," said Paul Gentilozzi, JaguarRSR Principal Partner. "We were pleased with every practice session, the JaguarRSR XKR GTs have shown great reliability and ever increasing performance. The unfortunate mechanical failure of an outside supplier fuel pump is obviously very frustrating. As you get close to the front, all you want to do is race for the lead. We are frustrated, on the other side, we are certainly reinforced by the performance gain. JaguarRSR went four seconds faster in 2011 than it did in 2010 at Road America and we attribute that so much to the work we have done on the race