AJR Restoration's roots are rich with sports car racing history.
Formed in 1988, Alex Job Racing (AJR) was considered one of the top sports car competitors in the IMSA series.
The team benefited from technology developed by Porsche Motorsport, but the factory assisted team also undertook considerable development work on its own.
The story of the team's success began more than 30 years ago. Team owner Alex Job spent 20 years in the retail automobile business, primarily with Porsche, before pursuing racing as a full time business. For Job, racing has always been a motivating factor; in the 1970s, he raced part time while keeping his day job. Job retired from racing in the late '70s, but the separation didn't stick and he was drawn back to racing.
Job founded Alex Job Racing in 1988, with the goal of building a race program that would evolve into a championship caliber team. The team was initially run out of the two car garage at Alex and Holly's house. At the time, customer cars were not available from Porsche, so Alex built the first two cars they raced. In 1990, this goal came closer to becoming reality when the team began racing full time. As a result Alex was able to attack racing with a renewed focus. Alex Job Racing moved into their first commercial warehouse shop in 1991.
Soon the team's hard work began to turn into success. As a driver, Job had a 2nd place finish at the 1990 Rolex 24 at Daytona as well as a 2nd place finish at the 1991 12 Hours of Sebring. In 1992 he decided to retire from driving duties recognizing that for the team to be a true success, he needed to pursue roles as team manager and engine builder, in addition to his current ownership position.
Job's second retirement from driving began to pay off in 1995 when AJR began to reap a number of successes. These included wins at the Sebring 12 Hours, (Charlie Slater, Joe Cogbill and Bill Auberlen driving) and the New Orleans IMSA finale (Bill Auberlen).
1996 would include a very interesting program, with a Fabcar built, mid engine, 911 bodied and powered car. The car was driven by Hurley Haywood and Tom Hessert and won at the Watkins Glenn 6 Hours. 1997 was the first year Alex Job Racing was involved in the Team Seattle program. This was an association between AJR and a group of Seattle business men, intended to help raise money for the Children's Hospital of Seattle . Money was pledged based on the performance of the cars in the race. The first year only had one car involved. The program was continued in 1998 and 1999. The total amount raised during the program was approximately a half a million dollars.
In 1998 AJR ran a full Professional Sports Car Racing season with Darryl Havens and Cort Wagner driving. The season progressed well, with podium finishes at Daytona, Sebring, Las Vegas, Lime Rock, Mid Ohio and Mosport and wins at Watkins Glenn, the fall Sebring Race and Laguna Seca. The middle of the 1998 season is when Alex Job Racing and Porsche Motorsports North America first did business together. It is at this time that PMNA started to build all of the engines for AJR. This relationship would flourish during successive years. 1998 was the true turning point in the history of AJR, as it is the first time the proper funding for a two car team was brought into the equation, in the form of sponsorship from Aerofab Aluminum and Darryl Havens. Alex, himself, would win the PSCR Mechanic of the Year award.
AJR jumped into the inaugural season of the American Le Mans Series in 1999 full-bore with a two-car effort. The year started strong as the team captured GT class honors in the Rolex 24 at Daytona. The team didn't stop there; they built upon this success to win the other major North American endurance events including the 12 Hours of Sebring and the Petit Le Mans.
The driver lineup for the 1999 season included: Cort Wagner, Dirk Mueller, Darryl Havens and Mike Fitzgerald. Additional drivers for certain races included Kelly Collins, Anthony Lazarro, Randy Pobst and Sascha Maassen. AJR was the first US team to receive the new 911 GT3-R, which they received after the Le Mans 24 Hours. With both Cort Wagner and Dirk Mueller driving the new car, they won three of the remaining five races (Portland, Petit Le Mans and Las Vegas) and finished 2 nd in the other two (Sears Point and Laguna Seca). Cort Wagner won the ALMS GT Class Drivers Championship, as well as the Porsche Cup. AJR finished 2nd in the teams championship. Crew Chief Mike Evans would win the ALMS Mechanic of the Year Award. This was also the first season McKenna, a Southern California Porsche Dealership, appeared as a sponsor, on the car. This would be the beginning of a long standing relationship between AJR and McKenna.
The 2000 ALMS season brought new competition for AJR, in the form of the Porsche factory assisted Dick Barbour Racing. AJR would run a Porsche 911 GT3-R with Randy Pobst and Bruno Lambert driving. This season also brought in a new sponsor, Cranium. Bruno and Randy won twice (Mosport and Texas ) and finished on the podium 5 more times. Randy Pobst finished 2 nd in the ALMS GT Class Drivers Championship (182 points), only 6 points behind Champion Dirk Muller. Bruno Lambert would finish tied for fourth with Bob Wollek (with 180 points) in the Drivers Championship.
2001 brought many changes for both AJR and the ALMS GT Class. AJR gained factory support with the use of factory drivers: Lucas Luhr, Sascha Maassen, Randy Pobst, Christian Menzel, Emanuel Collard and Timo Bernhard. McKenna Porsche was back, this time as a primary sponsor. 2001 is also the year when BMW came in to the ALMS GT class in a big way, with the M3-V8GTR. There were two factory backed teams, each running two cars: BMW Motorsport/Team Schnitzer and Prototype Technology Group. AJR would finish 1-2 at the first three races (Texas, Sebring and Donnington Park) as well as gaining 5 subsequent podiums during the rest of the season. AJR would finish 2 nd to BMW Motorsport for the ALMS GT Team championship (194 points to 180 points), with its drivers (Maassen/177 and Luhr/176) finishing 3 rd and 4 th to the BMW Motorsport drivers (Muller/191 and Lehto/186) for the ALMS GT Drivers Championship.
The 2002 season would see continued support from Porsche, as well as continuing primary support from McKenna Porsche, as well as new sponsor Xybernaut Computers. Two drivers from 2001 would return (Maassen and Luhr) and two new ones would join the team full time (Timo Bernhard and Jorg Bergmeister). Marc Lieb would be with the team at Sebring and Petit Le Mans. The team had 8 wins (Sebring, Sears Point, Road America, Washington DC, Three Rivers, Laguna Seca, Miami and the Petit Le Mans) as well as 7 other podiums. AJR also won the pole position at 9 races as well as setting the fastest race lap at all 10 races. Lucas Luhr and Sascha Maassen would win the GT Class Drivers Championship by 52 points, while the team would win the GT Class Team Championship by 40 points and the IMSA Cup by 48 points. AJR made a clean sweep of the awards when Crew Chief Jeff Gamroth won the Mechanic of the Year award. This was a great season, but could get better, as it did in 2003.
2003 would see success not before experienced in any class of ALMS competition. The driver lineup would be the same as in 2002, with Romain Dumas joining the team at Petit Le Mans. AJR would win every round of the ALMS season, except Road America . The team would also win every pole position and set the fastest race lap at each race. AJR ended the season with a record such as this, all the while helping Porsche to develop the new sequential gearbox, which is available in all of the 2004 911 GT3-RSR's. Lucas Luhr and Sascha Maassen would win the ALMS GT Class Drivers Championship by 60 points, over Timo Bernhard and Jorg Bergmeister, who were a further 8 points ahead of Ralf Kelleners and Anthony Lazarro, in a Ferrari 360 Modena. For the second year in a row, an AJR crew chief would win the Mechanic of the Year award, though this time it would be first year crew chief Phil Pierce, who was previously the number one mechanic on the team. For the third year in a row, McKenna Porsche would be the primary sponsor, with mail2web.com joining on as a sponsor, for the first time. AJR also won the GT2 class at Le Mans with Petersen Motorsport.
2004 American Le Mans Series GT team champions. Timo Bernhard GT driver’s champion, seven wins at Sebring, Infineon, Portland, Mosport, Road America, Road Atlanta and Laguna Seca. Sixth team victory at Sebring. Eight pole qualifying positions at Sebring, Mid-Ohio, Lime Rock, Infineon, Portland, Road America, Road Atlanta and Laguna Seca. Thirteen team podiums. Three team 1 – 2 finishes at Sebring, Road Atlanta and Laguna Seca. Drivers in 2004 included full time pilots Timo Bernhard, Jorg Bergmeister, Romain Dumas and Marc Lieb. Sascah Maasen, Lucas Luhr, and Wolf Henzler drove at Sebring and Petit Le Mans.
2005 AJR finished second in the ALMS GT2 championship boasting four wins at Mid Ohio, Lime Rock, Infineon, and Portland; 13 top five finishes and won the GT2 class at Le Mans with BAM! Motorsport.
2006 AJR finished 5th in the ALMS GT2 Championship with the Team’s 50th race win at Houston. With the Team’s first year in DP competition AJR also finished 5th in the Rolex Grand Am Daytona Prototype Championship with wins at Homestead and VIR plus a qualifying race win at Laguna Seca.
In 2007, AJR completed its second full season in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Reserve. The team recorded one win (Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca), three top-five and 11 top-10 finishes.
In 2008 the Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team finished its third full season of Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 competition with two podiums, three top-five and seven top-10 finishes. German driver Dino Steiner finished second in IMSA Challenge Platinum Cup championship.
In 2009 competed in its second full season in the Patron GT3 IMSA Challenge with Mitch Pagerey. Finished 3rd in the Platinum Cup Championship which included a win at Mosport. Also competed in the PCA Race Series with Pat Kelly earning four wins and four track records.
In 2010 AJR returned to the American Le Mans Series with three GTC class Porsche Cup cars. Wins at Sebring 12 hours and Long Beach. Sebring win was the seventh for AJR. Finished 2nd in the GTC Team Championship. Crew Chief Ken Davison won the GTC Mechanic’s award. Bill Sweedler won the Founder’s Cup Drivers award. AJR also competed in its third full season in the Patron GT3 IMSA Challenge with Mike Schein. Finished 6th in the Platinum Cup Championship with a win at Mid Ohio.
In 2011 AJR ran in ALMS GTC class with Bill Sweedler, Leh Keen, Brian Wong, and Butch Leitzinger posting three second place finishes at Long Beach, Baltimore and Petit Le Mans. Team was on the GTC pole position for the Sebring Twelve Hours. Competed in IMSA Porsche Cup with Michael Schein, Cooper MacNeil and John Baker, winning at Montreal with MacNeil.
In 2012 AJR won the ALMS GTC championship with Cooper MacNeil and Leh Keen. Their list of wins includes Sebring, Lime Rock, Road America and Virginia International Raceway (VIR), complimented by four second-place finishes at Sebring, Long Beach, Mosport and Baltimore. AJR finished 7th in the ALMS GT competition with Lotus Evora and drivers Townsend Bell and Bill Sweedler. The team also competed in Rolex 24 Hour At Daytona with two cars, the No. 23 car finished 17th and the No. 24 car was 14th.
2013 AJR competed in a full season of ALMS GTC with Cooper MacNeil and Jeroen Bleekemolen as well as as full season in GT competition with Ferrari 458 GT and drivers Townsend Bell and Bill Sweedler. Team competed in Rolex 24 Hour At Daytona with two cars, the No. 24 WeatherTech Racing Audi R8 finished 1st and the No. 23 WeatherTech Racing Porsche finished 6th ALMS GTC Drivers Championship, Sebring win #9 Sebring and Mosport win.
AJR was the longest competing and most successful team in the ALMS.
In 2014, AJR competed for a full season in the Tudor United SportsCar Championship with two Porsche 991 GT America’s. Car #22 was sponsored by WeatherTech and piloted by Cooper MacNeil and Leh Keen for the sprint races along with Shane van Gisbergen, Shane Lewis, Philipp Frommenwiler and Craig Stanton joining them for one or more of the endurance events. Car #23 was sponsored by the Heart of Racing and was piloted by Ian James and Mario Farnbacher for the sprint races along with Alex Riberas and Marco Holzer joining them for one or more of the endurance events. Car #22 had a best place finish of 2nd at Road America, while the #23 finished 2nd at Belle Isle and 3rd at the Sebring 12 Hour.
In 2015, AJR competed for a full season in the Tudor United SportsCar Championship with two Porsche 991 GT America’s. Car #22 was sponsored by WeatherTech and was piloted by Cooper MacNeil and Leh Keen for the sprint races with Shane van Gisbergen and Andrew Davis joining them for one or more of the endurance events. Car #23 was sponsored by the Heart of Racing and was piloted by Ian James and Mario Farnbacher for the sprint races with Alex Riberas joining them for one or more of the endurance events. Car #22 finished with an impressive 2nd at the Rolex 24 event while Car #23 had two 1st place finishes, the first was at the Sebring 12 Hour, which was the 10th win for AJR at Sebring, and the second was at Belle Isle. They also stood on the podium with two additional 3rd place finishes, one at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and the other at Virginia International raceway.
In 2016, AJR competed in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with two Porsche 911 GT3 R’s. Car #22 was sponsored by WeatherTech and was piloted by Cooper MacNeil and Leh Keen for the sprint races with David MacNeil, Shane van Gisbergen and Gunnar Jeannette joining them for one or more of the endurance events. Car #23 was sponsored by the Heart of Racing and was piloted by Mario Farnbacher and Alex Riberas for the sprint races with Ian James and Wolf Henzler joining them for one or more of the endurance events. The best finish for Car #22 was 5th this season, while Car #23 came away with a 1st place finish at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and a 3rd place finish at Watkins Glen.
In 2017, AJR competed in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with an Audi R8 LMS. Car #23 was driven by Townsend Bell and Bill Sweedler along with Frank Montecalvo and Pierre Kaffer. They competed at Daytona, finishing 6th in GTD, Sebring, Watkins Glen, Limerock, and Petit Le Mans.
Since the final season of professional sports car racing, there has been a dedicated staff focusing on the restoration arm of the business. In 2020, Alex Job Racing officially transitioned to AJR Restorations.