This report came in overnight from JL Racing, who race a Saab 9-3 in Canada.
We’ve been following their entire 2007 season here at TS. It’s the second year for the team and they’ve managed podium finishes several times through the year and learned a heck of a lot about developing the race car in between.
In my eyes they’ve been great ambassadors for the Saab brand and I would like to extend my congratulations on a successful season for the team. I’d also like to thank Phil Reilly from JL Racing for keeping us up to date in a professional and regular manner.
JL Racing places fifth in 2007 Championship
Only a short five months ago the season began with the new championship. The field was extremely competitive and at the end of the first weekend, JL Racing finished mid-pack and realized there was a lot of room for improvement. A goal was set to finish in the top ten for the year.
Throughout the following race weekends, the suspension was overhauled, new brakes installed and aerodynamics improved. The team began to place higher in the point standings.
The last two months was entirely focussed on the engine with extensive dyno time and increased testing. The team began to place within the top ten. The month of September has seen all the hard work pay off, with a huge win in the endurance race and then finally to move into fifth position for the season championship.
Team Manager and driver, John Lockhart summed up the season: “We just kept on progressing throughout the season and fifth place is a great result for us. The Saab 9-3 had excellent performance and every weekend we got faster and faster.”
The final weekend of racing started with a qualifying session where there was little time to get a clear track. The team were sixteenth in the grid for the first race. Jason Sharpe drove a hard race on Saturday however, to move the car up into twelfth position and put John Lockhart in a much better track position for Sunday’s headliner race.
The Sunday race was plagued with yellow flags as many competitors had nothing to lose with an aggressive attitude in the last touring car race of the year. Somehow through all the mayhem, John Lockhart gained seven positions to place the car in fifth position for the race. The strong finish on Sunday confirmed JL Racing’s fifth place in the championship point standings.
At the last minute, the team decided to give the car one final run in the last sprint of the day. The car however would start in fortieth place at the back of the grid as it was a last-minute decision to enter the race. Jason Sharpe was the hard-charger of the day and drove an entertaining race where race fans watched the Saab 9-3 overtake twenty five cars to finish fifteenth overall. It was a fitting end to a great season of Saab racing.
Photos, video blogs and more on www.jlracing.net