St. Pete: Farnbacher Loles Racing preview

Farnbacher Loles Racing - St Petersburg preview Farnbacher Loles Racing returns to the American Le Mans Series with a rebuilt race car. The team's No. 87 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR took a big hit during the season-opening Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of...

Farnbacher Loles Racing - St Petersburg preview

Farnbacher Loles Racing returns to the American Le Mans Series with a rebuilt race car. The team's No. 87 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR took a big hit during the season-opening Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring on March 15. The crew has used every available moment since then to repair the car for this week's race in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Team manager Frank Resciniti explained, "Most of the damage was to the right-side suspension, both front and rear, and one of the radiators. The uprights were broken, the brake rotors were broken and the back rear section of the car was hit so hard it twisted it. We had to strip the car down to a tub and take it to a frame machine and essentially re-align it, which bends the frame back into position again. The car, when it's done, will be as good as new. It just takes a lot of work and a lot of effort to do it."

street sense

Farnbacher Loles drivers Marc Basseng of Leutenbach, Germany, and Dirk Werner of Kissenbruck, Germany, both led the GT class during the 12 Hours of Sebring. Werner hopes his experience racing on street circuits in Monaco and Germany will help him repeat the performance in St. Petersburg on April 5.

"St. Petersburg is different from other street tracks. Everything is so close and you don't have runoff areas, so we will perhaps go into the practice a little bit more conservative and not risk anything," he said. "But as we have only two free practices in St Petersburg, and Marc and I don't know the track, we have to get on speed pretty fast. I think we just have to talk to as many drivers as we can to get information about the track.

"The circuit is pretty tight, so there will be a lot of traffic, especially with the LMP [prototype] cars during the race. St. Petersburg has a lot of turns where you need good traction and that's where the Porsche is pretty good. I think we can go on from where we ended in Sebring, speedwise, and get a good result."

short track

Marc Basseng usually races on the daunting Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit in Germany, a 15-mile track with 82 turns. The 1.8-mile, 14-turn temporary street circuit in St. Petersburg will be a radical change.

"One lap at the Nordschleife is about nine times as long as one lap in St. Petersburg," Basseng noted. "St. Petersburg is a street circuit where the track is rather narrow compared to the broad track at the Nurburgring. I will probably miss the jumps and compressions of the Nurburgring.

"It will be my first time racing at St. Petersburg and my experience with street circuits is not very profound. So far, I have only driven street races at the former Avus Ring in Berlin and at the Norisring [in Nurnburg]. Thus, St. Petersburg will be a real challange for me. But I'm already looking forward to it."

-credit: -- farnbacherlolesracing.com --

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Marc Basseng