Farnbacher Loles Racing enters the final race of the 2008 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series with mixed emotions. The young team earned a triple championship in the 2007 series finale, taking the GT-class team and driver championships, and leading...
Farnbacher Loles Racing enters the final race of the 2008 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series with mixed emotions. The young team earned a triple championship in the 2007 series finale, taking the GT-class team and driver championships, and leading the charge for Porsche's manufacturer title. Despite a strong season that produced a victory and five podium finishes, the team won't contend for this year's trophy hardware. But they'll still be gunning for the podium -- and victory -- in Saturday's seven-hour endurance race at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah.
The team will field one of its strongest lineups of the season. Dirk Werner of Kissenbruck, Germany, will take his last start as defending GT champion, driving the No. 87 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car with the pair who joined him on the class podium at Miller last year -- Wolf Henzler of Nurtingen, Germany, and Bryce Miller of Summit, N.J.
"This last Grand-Am race for this year will be a little bit disappointing, because for the team and me the time as reigning champions in the GT category will end," Werner acknowledged. "It was a rough season for the 87 car, so a win would make it a lot easier to look back on this year. We have the car to win a race -- we showed that in the past. I hope with a good result, we can help Porsche win the manufacturer championship. And going to Miller Motorsports Park brings back all the great memories from last year's championship win there. We are ready for the final race."
Henzler has been winning with Farnbacher Loles since the team's first race in 2004. He knows how to make it happen.
"Because I have done many successful races with Farnbacher Loles in the past, it gives me a familiar feeling when I come back each time. I am looking forward to racing with Bryce and Dirk. I know both well, not only because I raced with them last year in Salt Lake City. We are all professional drivers and we know what we need to create a good result in a long race," he said. "Miller Motorsports Park is a very smooth track which reminds me a little bit of some tracks in Europe. With its huge runoffs, it is also a very safe track and makes it possible to come back if you make a small mistake."
Dominik Farnbacher of Ansbach, Germany, and Leh Keen of Charleston, S.C., will be looking for a repeat of their second-place GT finish at Miller last year, driving the No. 86 Porsche with Eric Lux of Jacksonville, Fla. And Steve Johnson of Bristol, Va., and Dave Lacey of Toronto will be strong in the No. 88 Porsche.
"Miller has always been a good race track for me," Farnbacher noted. "The track is very quick and slippery, because of all the sand which gets blown on the track. The Porsche will be strong at Utah. Farnbacher Loles got second and third and won the championship there last year. Now Wolf and I are going to help out the team for the last race to show everyone what the team is able to do in such a long race. I can hardly wait to race a Porsche again!"
The long race on the 4.486-mile Miller road course fits Lacey's consistent -- and successful -- approach to endurance racing. After notching two seventh-place finishes this year, he and Johnson are ready for another step.
"We are very much looking forward to being back in Tooele at the Miller Motorsports facility," Lacey said. "It always takes a few laps to get re-acclimated with this race track given the long lap and similar corners, but once you have it memorized, it's a great rhythm course where our Porsches can run very well. Steve and I are looking forward to this finale and hope to bring home a top-five finish for the end of the 2008 season."