Detroit: Tafel Racing race report

Tafel Racing Finishes Fifth and Eleventh in Detroit Detroit, Mich., September 1, 2007 -- Tafel Racing finished fifth and eleventh today in round 10 of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) Detroit Grand Prix. Team owner Jim Tafel and Dominik ...

Tafel Racing Finishes Fifth and Eleventh in Detroit

Detroit, Mich., September 1, 2007 -- Tafel Racing finished fifth and eleventh today in round 10 of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) Detroit Grand Prix. Team owner Jim Tafel and Dominik Farnbacher were fifth with Wolf Henzler and Robin Liddell classified in eleventh.

The close confines of the Belle Isle circuit continued to play havoc on the Tafel cars today. After a difficult first practice yesterday with damage to both Tafel racers, the team was able to secure a fifth place finish for the No. 73 of Tafel and Farnbacher. The finish equals the duos best finish of the season, which was the first race at Sebring in March.

It was not easy. On the first lap Farnbacher, starting from the third row in GT2, met with contact sending the young German into the spin cycle and to the back of the field. Farnbacher was able to drive the No. 73 back to fourth place before handing over to Tafel. Tafel then was able to hold onto the position, until being spun by a competing Ferrari which relegated him to fifth place.

"The start was good," Farnbacher said. "I was able to move up from fifth to third and then was hit in the rear by another Porsche. I had to come from the back and was able to get back up to fourth. We then got unlucky with a wave-by and we went down a lap. Jim did a good job at the end and fifth place is not bad after our last two race weekends."

Tafel also had contact, but was able to recover quickly to not loose any ground and hold on to a top five finish.

"Top five is good for us today," Tafel said. "I had a lot of car when I got in. It was really good early in the stint. I was running strong and then just got punted by the Ferrari. Toward the end of the race it started to get a little greasy into turn eight and I was having trouble getting the car turned in. After the last two weekends with all of the contact and work by the crew we are leaving for a month long break with a decent finish."

In the team No. 71 Tafel Porsche Henzler and Liddell continued their difficult weekend into the race. Liddell started the Porsche from pit lane due to not participating in qualifying because of damage in yesterday's first practice session. Liddell was able to get up to sixth prior to being punted off in turn one by another GT2 car on lap 58. The damage was so severe that the car was not able to continue.

"The car was alright in the race," Liddell said. "After the extensive repairs the day before it was not perfect, but the boys did a great job getting it back together. The left rear felt greasy early on, I thought it might have been debris on the tires. I had a lot of understeer and trouble getting traction under throttle. When we came in the boys said the tire was going down. Then going into turn one I was nailed in the back by the 45 and sent into the wall. It ended our day very early."

"I never got in the car in the race," Henzler said. "The car was good in the warm-up, I was able to run a fast time which put us second this morning, but we had to start from the pit lane. We chose to use a soft left rear tire and that went down on Robin, so that cost us some time. The accident came and the race was over. Not too much work for me today."

"It was tough for the 71 today," Tony Dowe, team technical director said. "To be put out of the race the way we were in turn one by being hit the rear is really not good sport. Wolf never got in the car and the way things were going out there we could have salvaged a good finish. Dom and Jim did a good job with their fifth place. We got caught out on a wave-by and went down a lap. We possibly had a podium position with the 73. We need to regroup and get ready for Petit."

-credit: fr

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Robin Liddell , Wolf Henzler , Jim Tafel , Dominik Farnbacher