Braselton, GA, 7th October 2007. Wolf Henzler and his good friend and team mate, Dominik Farnbacher, finished a superb second in the highly competitive GT2 class yesterday evening in the tenth running of Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. It was the...
Braselton, GA, 7th October 2007. Wolf Henzler and his good friend and team mate, Dominik Farnbacher, finished a superb second in the highly competitive GT2 class yesterday evening in the tenth running of Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. It was the best result of the year for the Tafel Racing driver and a great reward for a race that was full of drama, action and tension. Porsche were also able to celebrate a 1-2-3 in class as all the Ferraris had problems for one reason or another.
Henzler, who last week was suffering from flu so was not at full strength, started the Tafel Porsche from fifth position on the grid but, by lap three he had moved his #71 Porsche 997 RSR up to third and, by lap 18, was leading the race. It was not all easy though, and there would be plenty of drama during the 9 hour 18 minute race -- some of which was centered around the Henzler/Farnbacher car. There were no less than nine full course caution periods, six of which were in the first half of the race.
On lap 93 Dominik Farnbacher made an unscheduled pit stop as the car suddenly experienced a loss of power, a problem traced by the Porsche technical team to a faulty electrical fuse. Then at around three-quarter race distance, the Tafel crew had trouble taking off the left rear wheel at a scheduled pit stop. Team technical director Tony Dowe made the decision to keep the left rear on the car so as not to lose any more time with repairs. On the final pit stop, Dowe consulted with the Michelin technician who inspected the tire and the decision was made to triple-stint the left rear. It completed 100 laps by the end of the race. Those strategic calls, coupled with excellent crew work and driving gave the team their best finish so far in the season.
"We had a really good start to the race," Henzler said. "But when I came into the pits for the first time I made a mistake about where I stopped and the fuel hose would not reach the car so the guys had to push me back. We lost a little time and a position then, but it wasn't too bad as it was still quite early in the race.
"When Dominik was driving he suddenly lost a lot of horsepower and had to do a very slow lap before coming into the pits. The guys fixed it but we lost two laps. The wheel being stuck on was a little bit of a worry, but Tony, the Porsche and Michelin guys really made the right calls to keep us in the fight.
"Dominik drove really well, and put a lot of pressure onto Millner for nearly the whole of the last hour. In Turn 7, and with just one lap to go in the race, he forced the #18 car into a mistake and was able to get by for second place -- everybody in the team screamed and shouted! It is a good result for the team and the car was really good today -- good enough to have won if we hadn't had the electrical problem. We really had a tough year and this result in this big race will give us a lift for the final at Laguna. We are getting better and better and I hope we can run for a win."