VIR: Tafel Racing preview

TAFEL RACING LOOKS FORWARD TO VIR AFTER PODIUM FINISH AT HOMESTEAD CUMMING, Ga. (April 11)- Tafel Racing is looking forward to a great weekend when the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve goes to...

TAFEL RACING LOOKS FORWARD TO VIR AFTER PODIUM FINISH AT HOMESTEAD

CUMMING, Ga. (April 11)- Tafel Racing is looking forward to a great weekend when the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve goes to Alton, Va .for the VIR 400. This will be a great follow up to their podium finish in March at Homestead where two of the Tafel cars had their best finish with Robin Liddell of England and Wolf Henzler of Germany finishing 3rd in the 72 NEC Porsche GT3, and Charles Espenlaub of Lutz, Fla. and Eric Lux of Amherst NY. finishing 7th in the 74 Rembrandt Charms Porsche GT3. "Our cars, our team, everything just keeps getting better and better," says team owner Jim Tafel. "It shows that the things we're doing are moving us in the right direction and our hard work is beginning to pay off. We're going to use what we've learned to do even better at VIR."

Toward that end, the Tafel team has been busy preparing for this race at various test facilities. "We had a good test at VIR last Thursday," said Technical Director Tony Dowe." We ran two cars and worked setups in parallel. One car did a full race simulation with Jim Tafel and Eric Lux sharing the driving. Wolf Henzler, on his first visit to the circuit did setups based on our recent visit to the Penske Technology Centre shaker rig in Mooresville, NC." The team returned to its home base of Cumming, Ga, with a full list of changes and ideas for the upcoming race.

The track at VIR will provide the team with quite a lot of challenges as it has many different features that are not traditional Porsche strong points. However, the 3.27 mile road course will allow the field to spread out and avoid some of the traffic congestion that was prevalent at Homestead.

Robin Liddell of England will drive the number 72 NEC Porsche 911 GT3 with Germany's Wolf Henzler, who qualified on the pole at Daytona and Homestead this year after finishing first in class at Daytona in 2005. The duo, which were quickest every time out at Homestead and led the majority of the race, slipping behind only in the last few laps due to numerous cautions and re-starts, see a victory at VIR as being well within their reach.

Atlanta area residents Andrew Davis and team owner Jim Tafel are paired in the number 73 NEC Porsche 911 GT3. In only his second full season of racing, Tafel has seen amazing success as both team owner and driver, placing third in 2005 for the prestigious Bob Akin Award presented to the outstanding sportsman in GT. Davis posted 11 top-10 finishes in 13 starts in 2005 and qualified on the outside of the front row at Homestead, just two seconds behind Henzler.

Davis's abilities as a driving coach are evident in his student Eric Lux, of Buffalo, NY, who at 18 is the youngest driver on the Tafel team. Eric celebrated a victory his first time out this year at Daytona in the Grand-Am Cup Series, an achievement he hopes to repeat at VIR. His co- driver in the number 74 Rembrandt Charms Porsche 911 GT3 will be Charles Espenlaub of Lutz, Fla., who has raced in the SPEED Touring Championship and HSR, as well as working as a driving instructor at Panoz Racing School. Espenlaub and Lux have seen progressively higher finishes in each race, finishing 7th at Homestead. This momentum will drive their performance going into round four at VIR.

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Robin Liddell , Charles Espenlaub , Andrew Davis , Wolf Henzler , Jim Tafel , Bob Akin , Eric Lux