Farnbacher Loles Scores a Top-5 at Mosport, Builds Momentum for Petit Le Mans Farnbacher Loles Racing came into Round 8 of the 2009 American Le Mans series looking to regain momentum before heading to the 10 hour race at the Petit Le Mans at...
Farnbacher Loles Scores a Top-5 at Mosport, Builds Momentum for Petit Le Mans
Farnbacher Loles Racing came into Round 8 of the 2009 American Le Mans series looking to regain momentum before heading to the 10 hour race at the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. Team drivers Dirk Werner and Wolf Henzler did not disappoint, earning a well-deserved fourth place finish for the #87 Farnbacher Loles Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.
Though qualified in third position, Werner of Kissenbruck, Germany had to start at the rear of the field due to missing out on Saturday's practice and qualifying sessions. Werner was competing in another Farnbacher Loles Porsche in Montreal and was unable to complete IMSA's requirements to start in the qualified position. To further compound the situation, Werner had heavy contact in the warm-up practice session, forcing the Farnbacher Loles crew to make three hours worth of emergency repairs to the #87. Incredibly, the Farnbacher Loles crew got the Porsche repaired in time for the race, with literally only one minute to spare.
Werner repaid their efforts by passing four cars within the first lap. By the 19th lap, Werner passed David Murry in the #40 Doran Ford GT and was solidly in the top five at the ruthlessly fast Mosport International Raceway, the fastest circuit on the ALMS schedule. Werner continued to gain positions, with television viewers getting to watch up-close on the Michelin on-board camera, and got the #87 has high as third place before pitting on lap 45 under a full course caution.
"The race for me was really fun as I got to overtake a lot of cars," Werner said. "The Ford GT was difficult because of their straight line speed, so it felt good to get around him."
Werner continued, "I talked to Wolf about the car and the track before the race, so that helped me get ready. I only had a few laps in the warm up session, so I had to use some laps in my stint to get used to everything. The Corvettes were really strong here, especially in the straights, so I think fourth is a really good result for us considering everything that happened."
Handing the RSR off to Henzler of Kissenbruck, Germany, the #87 returned to the track in fourth place, a position Henzler defended all the way to the checkered flag, 71 laps later. Despite contact early in his stint, resulting in significant rear bumper damage, Henzler would go on to record the #87's fastest lap of the day with a 1:19.067 on the final lap of the race, finishing a mere 3.59 seconds off the podium.
"Dirk did a great job bringing the car from the back of the field to fourth place during the first stint, so I started my stint in a good spot," Henzler said. "After our accident this morning in warm-up, the crew had to replace the entire left front and left rear suspension and we barely made it out to the grid. The car really ran well all weekend, but the handling was understandably a bit off today after the accident. We got close to the lead pack in the end, but could not quite make it to the podium. In these conditions, a fourth place was good for us, thanks to the crew"
Farnbacher Loles Team Principal, Gregory Loles, was happy to see his team perform so well at such a difficult circuit. "Mosport is well known for being a difficult track to pass on, so it was a lot of fun watching the #87 come up through the field," Loles said. "I know we can build on this weekend's momentum at Road Atlanta for one of our favorite events, the Petit Le Mans. With our race shop located a quarter mile from the track, it is like a home race for our team."
Farnbacher Loles Racing finished third in today's Michelin Green X Challenge, a unique competition among the American Le Mans Series participants used to rate each team's fuel usage and efficiency throughout each event on the 2009 schedule.
Round 9 of the American Le Mans Series race will be the 10 hour Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia, September 23 26, 2009.