I did a brief intro on the JL Racing Team a few days ago. I’ll be covering their season in 2007 but at the time of the initial intro, I didn’t have any info on how their 2006 season went.
Enter Phil from JL Racing (and a former Aussie, too!). It seems that JL had a very encouraging 2006 season, but I’ll let Phil tell the story:
The 2006 year was initially seen as a test season for the team. The 2005 Saab 9-3 was rebuilt over the Spring months and the team decided to focus on suspension and handling for the first part of the season. Horsepower would be addressed later in the year. As it was a development year, the team did not have high expectations. There were a number of challenges in the first few weekends of racing so the car didn’t enter any races, but rather used the practice sessions to get as much track time as possible. One of the biggest hurdles was the engine overheating. The removal of all guards and heat shields around the turbocharger eventually solved the problem.
On July 1st Canada Day weekend it was decided to enter the car in it’s first race. Len Clue was the driver and felt confident he could finish the race. The car handled superbly and with Len Clue at the wheel, the team managed a first place finish. This was a very historic day. It was the first time Saab had won first place on it’s first race in North America.
The team went on to enter eight races for the year and came away with four overall wins. Winning 50% of all races in the first season is an amazing accomplishment and it’s due to both the hard work of the team and the pedigree of the Saab 9-3. It is a great car to race and at the end of the year, the team finished in the top ten for the CASC Ontario Touring Car GT Series. And it was supposed to be a testing year…
In the 2007 season, the team will compete in the newly formed Castrol Canadian Touring Car Championship (www.touringcar.ca) with the feature race of the season taking place at the Grand Prix of Toronto. The team is also building a second Saab 9-3 race car with significant upgrades to the handling and the engine. With a two car team in place, Saab will have a formidable presence at the race track.
JL Racing is one of Canada’s premier sport sedan racing teams. The team competes in top-rate, competitive, professional racing and can be found online at www.jlracing.net. You can also keep up to date with Saab racing at www.raceteknik.com.
Four wins out of eight races…..in a testing year?!?!
I’d say the 2007 season can’t come soon enough for these guys. With two vehicles entered and improvements on an already successful formula it’s going to be very interesting indeed.
I hope Saab Canada use this is a great shot in the arm for their marketing efforts this year. Racing is a genuine way to capture the imagination and the more Saab can do that, the better.
My best wishes to JL Racing for the coming season and we’ll all be watching with interest.