Tafel Racing to Start Fifth and Ninth at Detroit Detroit, Mich., August 31, 2007 -- Tafel Racing had a difficult morning session but rebounded and will start fifth and ninth for tomorrow's running of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) ...
Tafel Racing to Start Fifth and Ninth at Detroit
Detroit, Mich., August 31, 2007 -- Tafel Racing had a difficult morning session but rebounded and will start fifth and ninth for tomorrow's running of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) Detroit Grand Prix.
The close confines of the Belle Isle circuit were not kind to the Tafel cars in the first session this morning. Jim Tafel in the No. 73 Tafel Racing Porsche had contact going into turn eight. The resulting tap holed one of the 997s radiators ending the session. The team worked hard to get the car ready for the afternoons practice and qualifying session. Teammate Dominik Farnbacher rewarded the team with a fifth place qualifying effort running a time of 1:25.428.
In the companion No. 71 Tafel Porsche Wolf Henzler and Robin Liddell were getting up to speed on the 2.096-mile, 14-turn island circuit. Liddell was running fast laps in the top three, when he was too courteous to a P2 car which forced him onto the dirt and was drawn into the tire barrier.
Dominik Farnbacher was able to jump in the No. 73 in qualifying and put in a strong lap that will see the team start from the third row in GT2.
"I was able to make a big jump on the time sheet in qualifying," Farnbacher said. "I made a couple of mistakes, so I think I could have been at least fourth. The car was really neutral in qualifying and it was pretty good. The team did a great job to get it back together after the morning incident. We have a great chance at a podium finish tomorrow."
Jim Tafel had the small incident in the morning practice and also had a flat tire in the afternoon session.
"I had an incident this morning with another GT2 car, just an on track misunderstanding," Tafel said. "The team really worked hard today to get it back together and give us some laps in the last practice and qualifying. I have a good idea of the flow of the track now, so my odds are getting better around each corner. Dom did a great job in qualifying and we have good starting position for the race tomorrow."
"I gave one of the Porsche P2 cars a little too much room, ended up on the dirt and into the wall," Liddell said. "It is tough on these tight circuits, the prototypes seem to making some pretty low percentage moves out there this morning. It was tough. It caused a lot of damage and forced us to miss the afternoon practice and qualifying. We could have used the track time, but a lot will happen in the race tomorrow and we will be ready to take advantage of every opportunity."
Wolf Henzler was able to get up to speed quite quickly this morning running competitive times toward the front of the GT2 field. However, the team could have used the afternoon practice and qualifying session to fine tune the cars setup for the race.
"This morning we were getting used to the track and working on the setup," Henzler said. "There was a lot of dirt on the track and really not a lot of grip. That is what you get at these street circuits when you are the first group on the track. We were adjusting on the car and making improvements when Robin had his incident. We could have used the afternoon practice time to do some running in the warm weather. We have the warm-up tomorrow to make a few changes and get ready for the race."
"Street circuits really require a lot of patience on the track by everyone involved," said Tony Dowe, team technical director. "When you don't get the courtesy from the cars in the faster groups it will really cost you at these tracks. The crew worked hard today, we were about 10-minutes short of getting the 71 car out and the 73 guys did a great job to get that one out. Dominik put in a good lap and they will start fifth tomorrow. Wolf and Robin will have some work to do in the warm-up and the race."