Homestead: Tafel Racing preview

Tafel Racing Goes to Homestead-Miami Speedway CUMMING, GA-Tafel Racing will take its two-car team to Homestead for the Grand Prix of Miami in round three of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve on March...

Tafel Racing Goes to Homestead-Miami Speedway

CUMMING, GA-Tafel Racing will take its two-car team to Homestead for the Grand Prix of Miami in round three of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve on March 24. The Tafel team has been to Homestead for testing several times since the end of the 2006 season and feels fully prepared to use what they have learned to finish well on the 2.3 mile road course.

The 74 Rembrandt Charms GT3 Cup will be in the talented hands of German Wolf Henzler and Eric Lux of Williamsburg, NY. After qualifying on the pole at Homestead last year and finishing 3rd, Henzler is looking for another podium finish.

"We had a very good car last year," said Henzler." I qualified first and started the race. I was able to drive away from the rest of the field. After the race I was a little bit disappointed because we only finished 3rd. I am looking forward to the weekend. The most important thing is to have a car which is able to turn good lap times at the end of a stint."

Eric Lux, who will celebrate his nineteenth birthday on the first day of the race weekend, is expecting to improve on last year's 7th place finish.

"With the amount of weight Porsches carry in the rear it is easy for the rear tires to over heat early on," said Lux. "The configuration of the circuit does not benefit us, either. It will be very difficult to conserve the tire wear and be there at the end of the stint. I am crossing my fingers that the testing and research will pay off for Homestead. It would be a great 19th birthday present to leave with a win."

Andrew Davis of Bogart, Ga. will be paired with Nathan Swartzbaugh of Brea, CA in the 72 North South Machinery.com Porsche GT3 Cup. Davis, in his third season with Tafel, qualified second at Homestead last season.

"Personally, I really enjoy racing at Homestead. Since the track combines a technical infield section, and the high banks of the oval, it is very important to optimize the handling of the car. The biggest challenge to the circuit is finding grip in the surface. The pavement gets very hot and slippery under sunny conditions. Qualifying in the past has been quite good for me. I have one pole and two front row starts in my efforts at Homestead. The track demands a good handling car, and enough power to pull the car around the banking and onto the front straight. The Tafel Racing Porsche meets both these requirements, so I am expecting a good result from this round of the Rolex Series."

Swartzbaugh hasn't raced at Homestead yet, but is excited to take on the challenge of this new course, benefiting from the wealth of experience among his teammates.

"I am nervous as expected but confident. I am feeling pretty good after our performance at Mexico City. [Swartzbaugh and Davis finished 5th] I personally started off a little slow but Andrew Davis really talked me through my weaknesses and we ended up doing pretty well. Racing in the IMSA cup, I had a chance to really develop a skill level that would make me competitive in pro racing. It is a strange privilege to race against the guys that you have watched on TV and look up to."

The Grand Prix of Miami is a 400k race with a 2 hour time limit. It will be broadcast live on SPEED beginning at 2:00 P.M. ET on March 24.

-credit: tr

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Andrew Davis , Wolf Henzler , Eric Lux , Nathan Swartzbaugh
Teams Williams