St. Pete: Tafel Racing qualifying report

Tafel Racing Qualifies Third and Fourth in GT2 in St. Pete St. Petersburg, Fla., March 30, 2007 -- Tafel Racing put their two Porsche 997s on the second row in GT2 for tomorrow's running of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) Acura Sports Car ...

Tafel Racing Qualifies Third and Fourth in GT2 in St. Pete

St. Petersburg, Fla., March 30, 2007 -- Tafel Racing put their two Porsche 997s on the second row in GT2 for tomorrow's running of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) Acura Sports Car Challenge of St. Petersburg.

Robin Liddell behind the wheel of the No. 71 Tafel Porsche put in a time of 1:12.738 good for a third place starting position.

"I had good qualifying session except for a little mid-corner understeer," Liddell said. "I am reasonably happy, I have really come to grips with the car and I am familiar with this race track, so it was a good session. We are quick among the Porsche teams, which is a testament to this new teams off-season homework and our ability to get up to speed quickly at a new circuit. We are looking for another podium finish."

In the companion Tafel Porsche, Dominik Farnbacher took just three laps to put his No. 73 997 RSR next to his teammates on the second row, for a fourth place starting position.

"The team called me in after three laps, maybe I could have done a little faster time," Farnbacher said. "That is ok we will have maximum tire under the car for the race. The Ferraris are fast, they really look good from the mid-corner to the exit. Our strength in the Porsche is from braking to turn-in and the high speed turns. We have a good starting position and we will be very competitive tomorrow."

Wolf Henzler, co-driver in the No. 71, is ready for a hard two-hour-and-forty-five minute race tomorrow afternoon.

"We had a damper issue in the morning, so the work we did on the car was really not too productive," Henzler said. "The car really came back to me in the second practice session and I was able to post some fast times. At a street course we really have to compromise the set-up, because of the different turns and street surfaces. In some corners you have oversteer and in other understeer, it will never be perfect, but we have to get it as close as we can."

Jim Tafel is getting comfortable behind the wheel running his first street races.

"The track has a nice flow to it, so it is not too different from a road course, except for the walls on both sides," Tafel said. "I had a tire going down in the second session, so I really did not get a lot out of that run. We have both cars in the second row so we look good for the start. With the strong run at Sebring still fresh in our minds, we are looking for another great finish."

"The Porsche cars are a second off of the Ferrari," Tony Dowe, team technical director explained. "You take each corner and divide it by a second and you can see where you have to improve. I think the race is going to come down to strategy and who can make the right calls under the yellows. We have the speed and the guys qualifying efforts have us in a good position for the start."

-credit: tr

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