Dominik Farnbacher of Germany showed the pace of the Tafel Racing GT Porsche in tonight's night session, turning the quickest lap of the day for the team with a time of 1:51.802 - even quicker than his team mate Wolf Henzler's qualifying lap time.
The day had not been without its dramas for the #74 Rembrandt Charms supported car as much of the day's track time had been lost due to the need to change a crank trigger sensor. Wolf Henzler had only minimal time to acclimatize himself with the car and track before the 15 minute qualifying session this afternoon, and recorded a time of 1:52.199 to place the #74 a provisional second on the GT grid for Saturday's 24 hour race.
Henzler commented afterwards: "I had a good run and in the end qualified second. I am happy but would be happier if I qualified first! There was another Porsche a little bit faster but it's a long way in a 24 hour race and it doesn't matter if you qualifying 1st, 2nd, 10th or whatever. When I see the lap times of the other drivers it looks very good [for us]. We are very close and it seems to be a very competitive race."
Despite having more laps in the car, qualifying did not go according to Robin Liddell's plan in the North South Tafel Racing #72 car. He did just one timed lap before returning to the pits due to a misunderstanding within the team. His time of 1:52.972 places him 13th on the GT grid. Liddell said afterwards, "There was more to come and the tires were getting better as it was quite cool. I was a bit annoyed when I got out of the car but have calmed down now. After all, it's a 24 hour race, right?" The Scot must also have been reassured by his team-mates' pace in tonight's night practice, with all four drivers having now turned their first laps of the race meeting.
Sandwiched between the two regular Grand Am Tafel Racing entries is the Red Bull/One and Only Resorts #73 car, qualified today by Philipp Peter. The Austrian, who has finished on the podium on all three of his visits to Daytona, set a time of 1:52.542 which put him in 8th place on the grid. With their track time today restricted by both weather conditions and a problem with the fuel system on the car, it was with some relief that all four of the drivers were able to take their turn behind the wheel and complete a reasonable number of laps of the 3.560mile Daytona International Speedway track.
None of the Tafel Racing entries left their garages for the first practice session, which took place in heavy rain, as Technical Director Tony Dowe decreed that there was little point in taking unnecessary risks that early in the weekend.
Commenting on the day as a whole, Dowe said, "It was a difficult day which was not helped by the rain and problems with the 74. The team did a really great job, though of sorting out the problems with the cars and the qualifying result and night practice times showed the team's strength."
-credit: tafel racing