St. Pete: Tafel Racing preview

Tafel Racing Ready for Streets of St. Petersburg Cumming, Georgia, March 27, 2007 -- Tafel Racing has completed a quick turn around from Sebring to head to the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida for round two of the American Le Mans Series Acura...

Tafel Racing Ready for Streets of St. Petersburg

Cumming, Georgia, March 27, 2007 -- Tafel Racing has completed a quick turn around from Sebring to head to the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida for round two of the American Le Mans Series Acura Sports Car Challenge of St. Petersburg to be run on Saturday,March 31st.

Drivers Wolf Henzler, Robin Liddell, Jim Tafel and Dominik Farnbacher are ready to settle in for the remaining nine race ALMS schedule. The first of two street courses are scheduled back-to-back, with Long Beach on the schedule just two weeks after St. Petersburg.

Sebring proved to be a satisfying start for the Cumming, Georgia based team, but the sprint part of the schedule will be the key to seasoning ending success.

Wolf Henzler and teammate Robin Liddell go into St. Petersburg with experience on the circuit, both having raced there in World Challenge.

"I raced there in 2005 in World Challenge," Henzler said. "I like the track and the layout. With the circuit on the bay it reminds me of Monaco. We should be competitive, although we will have to really push to keep up with the Ferrais. We don't have much track time before the race, so we will have to be ready right from the first practice."

Liddell likes the track and the team's chances this weekend.

"Its always fun driving on a street course as it really focuses your driving and it is so important to be precise," Liddell said. "The track is really nice as it has a bit of everything, narrow in places, but also faster and flowing in others. The track will get better as the weekend progresses, but you generally need a car which turns in well, but has a good level of rear grip and good traction. The car needs to be steady in the rear to drive consistently and quickly without making mistakes. Staying out of trouble, which is always easer said than done, on a street course is vital. Qualifying well is also important as passing will not be that easy without taking risks. For example the braking areas can be quite slippery on the inside as they are off line and don't get cleaned up as much."

Dominik Farnbacher is looking forward to the challenge of running the first street course of the season.

"I have some good experience with street races," Farnbacher said. "The last one I ran was in 2004 at Monaco. I like the tight layout and the blind apexes. This type of circuit really separates the drivers, you must have a lot of courage to go fast. Wolf has been there in the past, so we have some experience on our team that not a lot of others have going there for the first time."

Jim Tafel will take the start in his very first street race. He will draw on the experience of learned teammates.

"This will be my first race on a closed street course," Tafel said. "Tony and the guys have a good plan going into the race. I will have get up to speed as quickly as possible as it is a two-day race weekend. We have three of these in a row, so we will be ready. Robin and Wolf have both raced there, so I will be able to draw from their knowledge. The team is still excited about our run at Sebring and we need to keep that motivation going this weekend."

Team technical director Tony Dowe and the crew had to make a quick turn around from Sebring, but the team is ready.

"This will be another challenge for our young team in the series," Dowe said. "Robin and Wolf have both raced at the circuit so we are not going in totally blind. We should have a good baseline setup due to our off season homework and the rest is really up to our drivers to get us to the front. Our track time will be limited as it is a two-day event, so the team that can unload off the trailer with a good setup will definitely have an advantage."

-credit: tr

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Robin Liddell , Wolf Henzler , Jim Tafel , Dominik Farnbacher