An action-packed four hours of racing saw Germany's Wolf Henzler and his Scottish team mate, Robin Liddell rewarded with third place at the scenic Elkhart Lake track in Wisconsin this weekend. The Tafel Racing drivers took the chequered flag in...
An action-packed four hours of racing saw Germany's Wolf Henzler and his Scottish team mate, Robin Liddell rewarded with third place at the scenic Elkhart Lake track in Wisconsin this weekend. The Tafel Racing drivers took the chequered flag in fourth place in the GT2 class but a penalty awarded to a competitor after post-race scrutineering meant that they were promoted to third place in the final classification.
The placing and points were a good reward for a difficult weekend's racing which saw the Porsche driver struggling with mystery understeer. "When we tested here in June," said Wolf, "the car was really good with consistent lap times. Everything was perfect. But this weekend, it wasn't the same at all and the car behaved completely differently to how it was at the test. We tried so many things during practice, and made big changes, but had a big understeer problem the whole weekend."
While practice and qualifying were challenging, strategy and excellent pit stops saved the day in the race itself. The event had four safety car periods, one of which ran for one hour and 23 minutes due to a heavy thunderstorm over the track, and tire strategy was critical. Henzler takes up the story. "Just after the race went green again, after the long safety car period, there was immediately another incident and the yellow flags came out again. We had to make an instant decision to either pit for slicks, as the rain had stopped, or stay out. We took slicks, together with just a few other cars, but it was very slippery for the first few laps. But, the track was drying fast and all the other teams had to then come in later and in that time we were able to push on and catch the field. This decision, together with some really good pit work, was key for us to finish fourth as we gained both time and position.
"Mosport in two weeks will be similar to Road America as it's another fast track. We have a few new people on the ALMS team since Tafel Racing stopped doing Grand Am, including Marcus Hazelgrove as our engineer, and that's made a big (and good) difference. Tony Dowe is still very involved but can give a wider overview on strategy which has helped all of us."
Wolf Henzler's next race will be for Tafel Racing in the ninth round of the American Le Mans Series at Mosport Park, Ontario, Canada on Sunday, August 26. Live Timing & Scoring will be available at www.americanlemans.com.
-credit: miller media communications