Alex Job will enter his 27th year of racing Porsches with a fresh challenge in the debut of the Porsche 911 GT3-R, although with the stability of his two teams and driver lineups remaining intact for a third consecutive season.
The Florida-based team is poised to return to the newly named WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with all four of its full-season drivers that have been part of its two-car GT Daytona class effort since the championship’s inception in 2014.
According to Job, the level of stability and long-term security has seen the program grow from strength to strength, particularly as IMSA prepares for a new era of GT3 racing next year.
“I’m really blessed to have two awesome team principals in David MacNeil with WeatherTech and Gabe Newell from the Heart of Racing,” Job told Sportscar365.
“They’re both incredibly successful business people. They’re incredibly competitive people. They’re used to winning in what they do.
“That marriage with AJR has been great because they give us the resources to compete. Part of that is financial resources, but it’s the whole package.”
AJR has been known for a number of firsts over the years, including being the first team to confirm its return to the TUDOR Championship for 2014, while being announced as the first U.S. customer of Porsche’s new-for-2015 GT3 contender.
“I’ve always been an advocate of long-term stability,” Job said. “I’ve got people who have been together for a long time and I feel that’s a key element in the team’s long-term success.
“That can only be done if you’ve got the financial commitment to back it up. I’m blessed to have it on both teams.”
The new component of AJR’s 2016 program will be the car itself, with the debut of the Porsche 911 GT3-R, which Cooper MacNeil, Leh Keen, Mario Farnbacher and Ian James are set to pilot next year.
“We’ve got the first two cars coming and I believe we’ll be testing them in November,” Job said. “We’ll certainly have an earlier start than we’ve had in the past.
“Porsche is working really hard on this new car. They have a very intense testing program they’ve been doing on it. It’s going to be a really good car.”
The globally recognized 911 GT3-R will mark a rapid departure from the team’s current Porsche 911 GT America, which was homologated for TUDOR Championship competition only.
Job expects a much easier transition this time around.
“With the new GT3 regulations, and with everything being homologated, there’s virtually nothing we can do with it anyway,” he said. “We have to race it as the manufacturer produces it.
“For us, it’s just a matter of learning the car, which Porsche will help us. I think it will be an easier transition for us in the beginning with the car.
“It won’t be another GT America program. It will be the right one now. We will be happy as Porsche teams, I’m sure.”
A number of tests in the U.S. are planned prior to customer deliveries, including a large-scale factory test at an undisclosed circuit next week, which AJR will be on hand to support.
“It shows Porsche’s commitment,” Job said. “They’ve already been testing it in Europe and they’re coming over here to test it. They’re putting a lot of resources into it.”