Utah: Tafel Racing preview

TAFEL RACING PUSHES FOR CHAMPIONSHIP IN SEASON FINALE With their victory in the Sonoma 250 at Infineon Raceway last weekend, Wolf Henzler and Robin Liddell have narrowed the points gap between first and second place in the GT class of the Grand...

TAFEL RACING PUSHES FOR CHAMPIONSHIP IN SEASON FINALE

With their victory in the Sonoma 250 at Infineon Raceway last weekend, Wolf Henzler and Robin Liddell have narrowed the points gap between first and second place in the GT class of the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve. The co- drivers of the 72 Tafel Racing NEC Porsche GT3Cup have four class victories this season and are eager to score a fifth and final one in the Discount Tire Sunchaser to capture the series championship.

Henzler has valuable experience on the 4.486 mile road course at the recently opened Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah. Henzler competed there in July, finishing 3rd in the GT2 class in the ALMS series, so he knows what it takes to compete successfully on the 24-turn circuit.

"When I raced there six weeks ago it was very hot. But you have some straights where you can relax. You are not very busy like at Infineon. One lap is very long. We will do lap times a little bit under three minutes. The track is different from the other tracks we raced on this year. It is very flat and there are plenty of runoffs."

Anxious to learn about the new facility, Liddell spent some time there on his way to Sonoma. "We (Liddell and team owner Jim Tafel) went there for some practice laps and the track is a really nice facility. I think the event will be really exciting and produce some great racing. We want to win and for the championship we will just have to see how it pans out. The win at Infineon puts us that much closer to the championship."

Tafel and Andrew Davis will share the 73 NEC Porsche GT3 Cup as they have all season. Their car is 8th in team points and the drivers are 8th and 6th, respectively. Their highest finish this season was 4th at the Brumos Porsche 250 at Daytona. Tafel sees the length and complexity of the track as the big challenges he will face as a driver.

"We did a few laps in the daytime at slow speed just to become familiar with the track and the reference points. Night racing will be an added challenge since we are just racing with headlights, there is no track lighting and it will be the end of a long day."

In the 74 Rembrandt Charms Porsche GT3 Cup, which is 6th in team points, will be Eric Lux and Ian James. They have finished in the top five three times this season, with their highest finish 3rd at Daytona. Lux, who is 5th in driver points has been in the 74 all season while James, 9th in points, has just joined the team for the past four races, but has been a huge factor in the success of the car.

"Like nearly everyone else, I've never raced at Miller, but it will be a great learning experience and our cars have performed so well this season that it should be an exciting event."

This is only Tafel's second season in racing, going from racing student to team owner in just a year. He has assembled a winning combination of driving talent and cars that are well engineered and mechanically solid. The team finished fifth last season and one year later they find the GT championship within reach and all three cars in the top ten.

-credit: tr

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Robin Liddell , Ian James , Andrew Davis , Wolf Henzler , Jim Tafel , Eric Lux