Daytona 24: Farnbacher Loles Racing Thursday report

The car that took Farnbacher Loles Racing to the 2007 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series championship was quickest of the seven team cars during the first qualifying session for the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Thursday. Frank Stippler led the 32-driver...

The car that took Farnbacher Loles Racing to the 2007 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series championship was quickest of the seven team cars during the first qualifying session for the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Thursday. Frank Stippler led the 32-driver squad, putting the No. 88 (Doncaster Racing) Porsche 10th on the GT grid with a lap of one minute 51.723 seconds on the 3.56-mile Daytona International Speedway road course in Daytona Beach, Fla.

"In general, I'm pleased with the qualifying right now. Overall, we are in the middle of the field; I think this is okay for a 24-hour qualifying," he said. "The other drivers are really competitive. I heard that it is the strongest 24-hour competition in the GT class that was ever here, so I'm happy to be part of it."

Jorg Hardt -- the only German driver in the No. 89 (Italian) Porsche -- qualified 12th in class, 2007 GT driver champion Dirk Werner was 13th in the No. 87 (GT Champion) car and Wolf Henzler 14th in the No. 86 (Power) Porsche. Tim Bergmeister was 28th in the No. 83 (Fitness) car, and Ross Bentley and Chris Bingham qualified the Nos. 85 and 84 (Team Seattle) Porsches 30th and 33rd, respectively, in the 42-car GT field.

Henzler notched the fastest GT time during Thursday night practice, bettering his qualifying lap time by two-tenths of a second.

team photos are available, including a shot of the seven cars on track shot; contact below

24-hour prep

The No. 83 (Fit) Porsche drivers found interesting ways to prepare for the Rolex 24. Russell Walker tested his stamina and focus with a six-hour video race. CR Crews warmed up with a 12-hour kart race. Ben McCrackin has prepared for his three Rolex 24 starts with his sprint triathlon regimen, which includes 1.5 to 2.5 hours of cardiovascular training every day.

Team Seattle

In 11 years of competing at the Rolex 24, Team Seattle has raised $2.7 million for the Children's Hospital and Regional Care Center in Seattle. The team will raise an additional half-million dollars this weekend in its 12th and final Rolex 24 race. Don Kitch Jr., founder of Team Seattle, acknowledged the final race will be tough for him and his wife Donna.

"I'm on probably the biggest emotional roller-coaster I've been in motor racing. This event has been such a huge part of Donna's and my life. To think that I might not be back here next year is a big challenge," he said. "But this team is not doing anything that every team in the garage can't do by linking their effort to a charitable, worthy cause."

-credit: farnbacherloles

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Series Grand-Am
Drivers Chris Bingham , Don Kitch Jr. , Wolf Henzler , Frank Stippler , Dirk Werner , Tim Bergmeister , Russell Walker , Jorg Hardt