TAFEL GOING TO FOR TWO-RACE STREET STREAK It only took 14 races, including just two with a Ferrari F430 GT, for Tafel Racing to post its first victory in the American Le Mans Series. Dirk Mueller and Dominik Farnbacher drove to a GT2 win in the...
TAFEL GOING TO FOR TWO-RACE STREET STREAK
It only took 14 races, including just two with a Ferrari F430 GT, for Tafel Racing to post its first victory in the American Le Mans Series. Dirk Mueller and Dominik Farnbacher drove to a GT2 win in the Acura Sports Car Challenge of St. Petersburg as Tafel became the 11th different entrant to win in the highly competitive class, one that features 11 different full-time entrants.
The Cumming, Ga.-based team hopes to continue its success next week on the other side of the country in the Tequila Patron American Le Mans Series at Long Beach, the Series' second straight visit to the famed Southern California circuit.
"We all worked so hard to get to this point," team owner Jim Tafel said. "Every team member has worked hard. We all know what victory feels like now. In the future, we just have to repeat the process we learned here this weekend. Our objective here was to be focused and win. It was a textbook, solid win."
Saturday's victory marked the first Series win for Farnbacher and the eighth for Mueller.
So what's to keep Tafel from scoring a second straight victory in Long Beach? Certainly not Mueller's street circuit record. Perhaps the German driver who now resides in Monaco channels the history of his current residence when driving on street circuits. The 2000 Series GT champion has recorded four fastest race laps in five street starts. He was the fastest GT2 driver in last year's race at Long Beach, his first visit there. Mueller also was fastest the next weekend in Houston and again Saturday in St. Petersburg.
Coincidentally, his last Series win before St. Petersburg was the 2000 season finale on the Adelaide, Australia street circuit. And yes, he was the race's fastest driver there, too.
"It has been awhile. I am really, really happy," Mueller said. "It is the first victory for the team and I am happy to be a part of it. Now, in the championship, we are looking ahead and I am very much looking forward to Long Beach. This is really special."
The Tequila Patron American Le Mans Series at Long Beach, Round 3 of the 2008 season, is scheduled for 4:10 p.m. PT on Saturday, April 19 from the famed Long Beach street circuit. The race will be broadcast from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, April 20 and on XM Satellite Radio Channel 144 from 7 to 9 p.m. ET Saturday, April 19. American Le Mans Radio will have live coverage of the race at americanlemans.com, which also will feature IMSA's Live Timing & Scoring.