Farnbacher Loles Qualifies Fourth at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
Wolf Henzler navigated the 11-turn picturesque Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca today with a fast lap time of 1:23.347, quick enough for a top-5 starting position for the Monterey Sports Car Championship tomorrow evening. Having led practice sessions on Thursday and Friday afternoon, Henzler, of Nurtingen, Germany, posted his fastest time of the weekend on his third qualifying lap after the Farnbacher Loles Racing crew made multiple chassis adjustments. Henzler's fourth place qualifying effort is four positions ahead of the #92 BMW E92 M3 of Dirk Muller and Tommy Milner whom he trails in the Driver's Standings for third place by a meager five points. Once again, competition in the ALMS GT2 category was intensely competitive with the top ten drivers qualifying within one second of each other with five manufactures represented. With a fourth place qualifying effort, the #87 Farnbacher Loles Racing/ Flamingo Resort Hotel/ Ehret Family Winery Porsche 911 GT3 RSR is the top qualified Porsche in the GT2 class.
While pleased with his qualifying result, Henzler was surprised to see his competition improve so much in qualifying.
"After our qualifying simulation in the final practice, I thought we had enough speed for the pole," Henzler said. "But I guess our competition found a little more than we did, so that was unexpected. I'm okay with fourth as we are the quickest Porsche today. The team did a good job, the car is consistent, all of our improvements are getting the car faster and more stable, so I'm really looking forward to the race tomorrow."
Co-driving the #87 this weekend, is Pierre Ehret of Santa Rosa, CA. Having not driven a Porsche GT3 RSR since 2007, Ehret was looking forward to experiencing the 2009 version.
"The car is great, but I think anyone who isn't used to the Porsche's unique handling is at a great disadvantage," Ehret said. "I need more practice to get faster, but I'm having a lot of fun learning its characteristics. I know that Wolf can get third in the Championship tomorrow with a good result, so I will do my best to keep the car safe and in contention."
Farnbacher Loles Team Principal, Gregory Loles, is happy with his team's performance in the session. "It was a tremendous effort from Wolf, Pierre, and the whole crew," Loles said. "I've very pleased that we are the top qualified Porsche this weekend, and I believe we will be in contention tomorrow."