Road America: Tafel Racing preview

Tafel Racing Well Tested For ALMS at Road America Tafel Racing is headed to Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin's Road America for round seven of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) Generac 500 to be run on Saturday, August 11. The Road America natural...

Tafel Racing Well Tested For ALMS at Road America

Tafel Racing is headed to Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin's Road America for round seven of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) Generac 500 to be run on Saturday, August 11.

The Road America natural road course is made up of 4.05-miles of undulating landscape funneling into 14- turns. The course will not be a mystery to the team from Georgia as they have logged a lot of testing miles at the central Wisconsin track.

Robin Liddell and Wolf Henzler rank the Road America circuit as one of their favorite tracks in America.

"Road America is one of my favorite tracks in the states," Liddell said. "It really has about every kind of corner and is real enjoyable to drive. This weekend's race will be four hours so we will need a car that is consistent. The team was able to highlight a couple of areas on the car and make improvements, so I am expecting good things. The last two races have been difficult for us in the way of results. Since before Utah we have improved the car and our overall speed, it is just not showing up with successful results.

Henzler did the bulk of the testing miles at Road America. The young German is looking for consistency over the long stints this weekend.

"I was very pleased with how the testing progressed and we learned a lot in the two days that we were there," Henzler said. "The team has shown good speed, running upfront for a while at Mid-Ohio, but we need to start showing results. I really like Road America's long straights that lead into heavy braking zones for the slower corners."

Domink Farnbacher and Jim Tafel will welcome Nathan Swartzbaugh to the seat of the No. 73 Porsche as the third driver at Road America.

"The team and Tony really have a lot of faith in their work from the test," Farnbacher said. For a driver this is very confidence inspiring. Wolf and Jim did the testing, so I am looking forward to having a really good car. I have never been there, but everybody says it's a very nice track, I can't wait to drive it. The team is making great progress, so I am looking for a very competitive weekend."

Team owner and driver Jim Tafel put laps in at Road America for the first time in June. He likes the long layout and knows the cars will have to be setup to maximize the long fast turns.

"We tested there in June for two days," Tafel said. "That was my first time at the track. The track is fast and fun! We focused a lot on the aero, because of the long straights and the high-speed corners. You have to focus the cars setup on the fast turns like Turn One and the Carousel. The team is like a library book from 1963, we are way over due for a result."

Nathan Swartzbaugh, announced yesterday, will be the third driver in the Tafel Racing No. 73 at Road America, Petit Le Mans and Laguna Seca. For Swartzbaugh he has Road America experience already in a Porsche.

"I was second at Road America in the IMSA GT3 Cup series last year," Swartzbaugh said. "I love it. It has a lot of character. I love the long straights and the high speed turns, like flying down into turn five. This will be the first time behind the wheel of an RSR. I know the track and that will help. I have a pretty good idea of how the car will perform. I just need to get a few laps under my belt on the track to get rid of the nervousness. I am anticipating shorting braking distances and higher overall speeds."

"Road America should be a break-through for our team," said Tony Dowe, team technical director. "We managed two days of testing there, so we have put in the work to be successful. The drivers and crew showed how competitive we can be at Mid-Ohio, we just need to translate that into a result at the checker flag."

Round seven of the ALMS Series will be run at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin on August 11. The race will be televised at 12:30 p.m. EDT on Sunday, August 12 on NBC.

-credit: tafelracing.com

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Robin Liddell , Wolf Henzler , Jim Tafel , Nathan Swartzbaugh