Tafel Racing adds Swartzbaugh to ALMS line-up Tafel Racing announced today that driver Nathan Swatzbaugh will join team owner Jim Tafel and Dominik Farnbacher in the No. 73 Tafel Racing/ANCA/TORNOS/ Porsche RSR for the American Le Mans Series ...
Tafel Racing adds Swartzbaugh to ALMS line-up
Tafel Racing announced today that driver Nathan Swatzbaugh will join team owner Jim Tafel and Dominik Farnbacher in the No. 73 Tafel Racing/ANCA/TORNOS/ Porsche RSR for the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) rounds at Road America, Petit Le Mans and Laguna Seca.
Swatzbaugh has been a Tafel team driver focusing his driving efforts in the Grand-Am GT series. With Nathan's consistent performances throughout the year, Tafel decided to move Swartzbaugh into the seat of the No. 73 for the races that are at least four hours long.
"Nathan has proven he has the speed and poise to take the next step and we are going to provide him with that opportunity," Tafel said. "With the help of Tony Dowe, Wolf Henzler, Robin Liddell, Dominik Farnbacher and myself the transition from the GT3 to the RSR should be a relatively smooth one for Nathan."
Swatrzbaugh, the 2006 winnner of the IMSA Porsche Cup series, will take the next logical step in his racing career.
"This is a dream come true to be driving a top class car in a World Class series," Swartzbaugh said. "Last year I moved from California to Atlanta as a commitment to making it into the ALMS and gaining status as a professional driver. After consulting with friends Patrick Long, Jim Tafel and Tony Dowe we thought that the IMSA Cup to ALMS jump might be too big of a step. We decided that the Grand-Am route was the best way to transition into the ALMS.
I think the biggest challenge for me will be the quality of drivers that compete in the GT2 category, as well as the other three divisions. Driving with the best sports car drivers in the world is also a little intimidating. I will have a chance to compare myself to Dominik Farnbacher, Jim Tafel, Robin Liddell and Wolf Henzler, some of the best Porsche drivers around. But they are also my teammates.
"Technically I think coming to grips with the tires will be a big change. The RSR has more horsepower as well as more mechanical grip. But, the Michelin tire delivers higher cornering speeds reduced stopping distances and overall more performance. I am really looking forward to Road America!
"As far as prototype traffic goes I have experience racing in multi-class events. I have found that if you can go to the brake just a touch early and show respect they will get by you easily. Road America is a long track, so the field should be pretty spread out, this will make my first race in the series a little easier."
"We have thought long and hard about this over the past couple of weeks," Tony Dowe, team technical director said. "It was always the plan to move Nathan into the ALMS, we wanted to take him to the next level this year as opposed to waiting. We have done extensive testing at Road America and we believe this will give Nathan his best opportunity to get a flavor for the series."