Tafel Racing Debuts Ferrari F430 GTC with Successful Sebring Test First Test Yields Important Information, Fast Times and High Expectations SEBRING, Fla., February 1, 2008 - Tafel Racing received its first new Ferrari F430 GTC less than two...
Tafel Racing Debuts Ferrari F430 GTC with Successful Sebring Test
First Test Yields Important Information, Fast Times and High Expectations
SEBRING, Fla., February 1, 2008 - Tafel Racing received its first new Ferrari F430 GTC less than two weeks ago. By its second official test session, the No. 71 Tafel Racing Ferrari F430 GTC was running in the top-two of American Le Mans Series GT2 competition. It only took the Jim Tafel (Alpharetta, Ga.) owned team until its fifth session to stand atop the GT2 classification here at Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway. Driver/owner Tafel, 2000 12 Hours of Sebring class winner Dirk Muller (a native of Germany now living in Monaco), Dominik Farnbacher (Ansbach, Germany) and Pierre Ehret (who lives in Santa Rosa, Calif but was born in Germany) each took to the circuit in preparation for the 56th Annual Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring. Farnbacher turned the quickest time for the No. 71 car with a lap of two minutes, 1.641 seconds set in Wednesday's second session (sixth session overall) on the 3.7- mile, 17-turn circuit. Overall, the team left Sebring with high expectations for the March 15th American Le Mans Series season-opener.
Farnbacher's time obliterated the current GT2 qualifying record for the road car-based class (2:02.439 set in 2007 with a Ferrari F430 GT). The quick lap was just a tick of the watch behind the fastest lap of the week (2:01.192 set with a Ferrari F430 GTC in the Third Test Session). The four drivers covered a total of 203 laps (751 miles/1,209 Km) during the three day test. Muller set the team's second best lap at 2:01.956.
In the more relaxed environment of the test, the Tony Dowe (Cumming, Ga.) managed team was able to familiarize themselves quickly with the mid-engine, Italian racing machine and new team drivers Muller and Ehret. Farnbacher drove with Tafel Racing in 2007. Rob Bell (Northants, England) and Allan Simonsen (Danish by birth but now living in Melbourne, Australia) will also drive for the second- year American Le Mans Series team in the race but did not attend this week's "Wheels Up Winter Test".
Tafel Racing's second Ferrari, which will race as the No. 73 Tafel Racing Ferrari F430 GTC, was delivered on site to Sebring but did not turn a wheel in the test. The No. 73 will be driven by Tafel, Ehret and Simonsen at Sebring while Bell, Farnbacher and Muller will race the No. 71 Tafel Racing Ferrari F430 GTC that was tested this week.
Tony Dowe, Technical Director: "A good start. Everyone has done well to get to this point and provide us a great base from which to progress. Thank you to Ferrari, Michelotto, Michelin, our drivers, engineers and crew."