Newton, Iowa. It was an extremely challenging weekend for Nurtingen's Wolf Henzler, which started with a big accident in practice for his team mate, Eric Lux of Buffalo, NY, and ended with a disappointing 9th place in the 400-kilometer race after...
Newton, Iowa. It was an extremely challenging weekend for Nurtingen's Wolf Henzler, which started with a big accident in practice for his team mate, Eric Lux of Buffalo, NY, and ended with a disappointing 9th place in the 400-kilometer race after a gear shifter cable broke.
Lux's #74 Tafel Porsche GT3 left the track at high speed at the new Iowa Speedway during practice, and the young driver had to be cut from the crashed car. "Eric was taken to hospital," said Wolf, "but luckily he wasn't injured -- just bruised. The car was finished though, because of the damage, and we could not continue for the race. The team decided to put me with Nathan Swartzbaugh in the #72 car which was a shame for James Gue, who should have raced with him, but I was happy to drive."
The Californian did a great job to qualify in sixth place for the GT race, and followed that up with a strong first stint in the car, rising to as high as second, before handing over to Henzler at the 44 minute mark. "Nathan did a really good job, and when I went out after a good pit stop by the team I was running in third behind Andy Lally. We weren't as fast as he was but I knew we had an hour to go and things were going well. We were holding position behind him very well and I think we could have easily had a podium finish."
Unfortunately, a broken gear shifter cable brought an end to that challenge as twelve minutes were lost in the pits for repairs. Wolf re-joined the race in 9th but the same problem happened again just two laps later. A further repair and a change of driver saw Nathan take over the wheel for the finish, and he did well to get through to the checkered flag in ninth place.
"It was absolutely frustrating," said Wolf afterwards. "Iowa was a very short track, just a 45 second lap time, but I really liked it. It was nice for the fans in the grandstands as they could see everything. It was a good show for Grand Am for the people in Iowa."
Wolf Henzler's next race will be for Tafel Racing in the seventh round of the American Le Mans Series at Mid Ohio. The two hour 45 minute race will start at 3:15 pm EDT on Saturday, July 21. CBS Sports will televise the race, tape-delayed, at 2 pm EDT on Sunday, July 22. Live Timing and Scoring and the ALMS Radioweb are available through www.americanlemans.com
-credit: miller media&communications