Tafel Racing Turns First Laps of ALMS Season at Sebring
Sebring, Fla, January 22, 2007 -- Tafel Racing turned the first laps of the teams inaugural American Le Mans Series season today at Sebring International Raceway.
Drivers Jim Tafel, Robin Liddell, Dominik Farnbacher and Wolf Henzler exercised the two brand new Tafel Racing Porsche 997 RSR GT2 cars at the famed sports car circuit in central Florida. The Cumming, Georgia based team unleashed their new Porsches on the 17-turn, 3.7-mile Sebring circuit with a specific test plan to prepare for the March 15th season opening 12-hour race.
Robin Liddell spent some quality time behind the wheel of the #71 Tafel Racing Porsche 997 today. "The car really looks good and runs like a Porsche. I am getting my footing back with the RSR after really only driving the Porsche Cup version last year. The RSR rewards a more aggressive drive. The team is working through a program to find a good baseline setup that we can go away from here with and think about for the 12-hour in two months time.
Teammate Wolf Henzler is focused on getting a good race car, not all out lap times. "With a new car you are really just trying to get quality laps and mak small adjustments. There is no pressure for a race weekend here, so we are taking our time and taking small steps. We are not trying to do flat our lap times as the setup is not the ultimate yet, but we are still running fast and providing feedback for improvements to the team."
Tony Dowe, team technical director, is sticking to the testing plan. "We are going through a well thought out new car program. We tried a number of different changes to start to understand what the car wants to go fast. We are really pleased with the feedback of the Michelin tires, they are very consistent and this allows us to really focus on our testing program. The drivers are providing excellent feedback and the data stream is telling us we are heading in the right direction."
The team will continue testing through Wednesday and then depart for Daytona to run three cars in the Rolex 24 Hour.