Utah: Farnbacher Loles preview

Farnbacher Loles' Miller and Werner take Rolex GT lead into season finale Coming off a wild and wooly Montreal round where they took a series best 9th podium, Bryce Miller and Dirk Werner will bring their Farnbacher Loles their ...

Farnbacher Loles' Miller and Werner take Rolex GT lead into season finale

Coming off a wild and wooly Montreal round where they took a series best 9th podium, Bryce Miller and Dirk Werner will bring their Farnbacher Loles their #87 Marquis Jet/IPC/Elf Oils Porsche 997 GT3 Cup into the final round of the season holding a five point lead in the Grand Am Rolex GT Series Driver's Championship while being tied for the Team Championship. Returning to Farnbacher Loles and sharing the driving duties at Miller Motorsports Park with Bryce and Dirk is German ace Wolf Henzler. Wolf last drove for the team in the 2005 season, winning the Rolex 24 for Farnbacher Loles that year. In the #85 Shoes For Crews/Recaro Porsche GT3 Cup, Leh Keen returns to the driver's seat after recovering from injuries received earlier in the season in a heavy crash at Mid-Ohio. Leh will share the drive with Dominik Farnbacher and Ian Baas. Baas has been filling in for Leh during his recovery.

Overall, it has been a season of mixed fortunes for the Farnbacher Loles drivers this year. While Bryce and Dirk have had more top three finishes than any other team in the series, their teammates Leh Keen and Dominik Farnbacher in the #85 have seen a season of disappointment and bad luck after a well earned 2nd in the series' second round at Mexico City. Bryce and Dirk were in different Farnbacher Loles team cars at Daytona, but they have been partners in the 87 since Mexico. Even though neither driver had contested the full series before, they quickly showed the other teams that they would be a force to be reckoned with. In their first race together, they finished fourth while their teammates Leh and Dominik grabbed the podium. At the next round in Homestead, Bryce and Dirk took third, while Leh and Dominik finished fifth.

The Championship chase for the two cars took a decisive turn at VIR where Bryce and Dirk grabbed their first win while Leh and Dominik, running in second, lost a radiator late in the race. Despite turning the races' fastest lap, the #85 finished the race in pit lane, and ended up in 21st. Over the next 8 races, Bryce and Dirk podiumed seven more times, and took the lead in the Team Championship while giving Dirk the lead in the Driver's Championship. Bryce trails Dirk by only 12 points in the Championship, a result of their finishing positions at Daytona, and currently sits in third place in the chase.

Coming into this final race, with the Championship in their grasp, the drivers know what they have to do. Team owner Gregory Loles is cautiously optimistic about the chances for his teams first Rolex Series Championship. "Needless to say, it has been a very exciting season. We've given our best effort at every race and we will continue to do that. While we have the points lead and we believe we have the cars, crew and drivers to bring it home, we are not taking anything for granted. This is a long race and anything can happen. But we have a great driver line-up and our crew guys have worked hard to get the cars prepared. You need some luck certainly, but I feel good about our chances.

In terms of the drivers, we are thrilled that Leh is healed and able to drive again. It has been tough for him at these last few races, watching from the pits. He is a true driver. He wants to be out there fighting it out for the team. And it will be great to have Wolf back driving with us. In addition to being an incredibly talented racer, he's like one of the family and is very close with our crew and other drivers. I am so proud of the job that Bryce and Dirk have done this year. We knew Dirk would be quick, but Bryce has really impressed us. He has qualified in the top five at almost every track and has handed the car off to Dirk in position to win races. These two guys did not even know each other before this season. But they have worked so well together and driven with such skill and professionalism, they really deserve this Championship."

-credit: www.farnbacherloles.com

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Ian Baas , Wolf Henzler , Lehman Keen , Dirk Werner , Bryce Miller