Homestead: Farnbacher Loles Racing race report

Farnbacher Loles Racing led the GT class during the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Saturday, but an equipment malfunction took the team out of podium contention. Dominik Farnbacher of Ansbach, Germany,...

Farnbacher Loles Racing led the GT class during the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Saturday, but an equipment malfunction took the team out of podium contention.

Dominik Farnbacher of Ansbach, Germany, started the team's No. 87 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car from third on the 26-car GT grid. He moved to the class lead after 40 minutes of the two-hour 45-minute race and held the lead through his stint. A quick driver change turned into a long pitstop when a nitrogen bottle regulator failed on the car's air jack system, forcing the crew to manually lift the car to change tires. Dirk Werner of Kissenbrück, Germany, took over and returned to the track seventh in class. With 42 of the remaining 80 minutes of the race run under caution, Werner was able to regain only three positions to finish fourth.

Teammates Leh Keen of Charleston, S.C., and Eric Lux of Jacksonville, Fla., fought an oversteer condition in the No. 86 Porsche. Lux started eighth in class and quickly moved up to fifth, but dropped back to 20th after an off-track excursion tore the front splitter (spoiler) off the car. Keen had the same issues during his stint and also lost a splitter, in the same turn two location. The pair lost a lap during a pitstop to replace the splitter and finished 12th.

The No. 88 Doncaster Racing / Farnbacher Loles Porsche was fast throughout the race, but drivers Dave Lacey of Toronto and Patrick Long of Belleair, Fla., were zapped twice. Lacey drove the first race stint and gained three positions on the first lap. After being hit by a rival Mustang, he dropped back to 24th, then steadily regained positions to 10th before handing off to Long. Just 13 minutes into Long's stint, the car's shifter cable broke and the team lost six laps replacing it. Long fought back from 24th to finish 18th in class.

Leh Keen, No. 86: "We just really struggled. Eric and I both made mistakes in turn two and ripped off the front splitter. But I saw five cars in front of me go off in the same turn. It was pretty wild out there. This track is really different from the tracks coming up -- we feel that we'll be better at Mexico City and VIR [Virginia International Raceway]. We had a good car; we were right on pace with the lead pack. We were a lap down because of the splitter swap, but we were in the groove, maybe a couple of tenths [of a second] off the fastest Porsche pace. We saw what we can do."

Eric Lux, No. 86: "In the beginning of the race, we were in conservation mode, trying to save the tires and then give it a run about a half-hour into the race. Everything was going well and we moved up from 10th to fifth, then I had a big understeer going into [turn] one and damaged the front nose cone. Leh did a stellar job, but he was fighting with the same problems I had. It just wasn't our race today. Next race should be quite a bit better."

Dominik Farnbacher, No. 87: "Leading the race was good! In the beginning, I tried to save my tires because I know that the surface here is very rough. I tried just to stay with the pack; I didn't push very hard. Then after a few safety car procedures, at the end of my stint, I thought, 'Let's go, let's do it!' I led the race for quite a bit. It was calm, I had no pressure. I just drove my race. When I came in for the driver change, something went wrong with the stands which keep the car in the air for a tire change. That cost us a podium, I would guess."

Dirk Werner, No. 87: "When I got in the car, we lost time and we went from first to seventh. It was very difficult then to overtake because we didn't have anything on the straights for the other cars and our[engine] temperature went high if we followed somebody. I was right behind the first three at the end of the race, and I could go the pace, but I had nothing to overtake them. I'm not really satisfied, but fourth place is better than nothing. Perhaps road tracks without ovals are better for us."

Dave Lacey, No. 88: "We had a good start, then one of the Mustangs hit me and spun me in [turn] three. It was right at the beginning of the race and traffic, so I had to wait 'til the end of the train. So we were down to 24th, then worked back to 10th and I gave it to Pat. He had a shifter cable break, totally unfortunate. We got him back out there and he was running second-fastest pace of the race, which is expected of a guy of his talent, but to come in on a weekend like this and be super-fast was just tremendous. Unfortunately, we were five laps back. I got back in and we just used it as a test session. We'll look forward to Virginia."

Patrick Long, No. 88: "The pace of all three cars of the Farnbacher Loles squad was really strong all weekend and we had a good strong fourth-place finish. Unfortunately for Dave and I, the fun ended early, but we were able to strive on and put some points on the board. The car was perfect. We had some discussions in [the morning] warmup and tried some different settings. The way we ended up going was the right direction. It was great to have a car that was so consistently quick."

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Patrick Long , Dave Lacey , Lehman Keen , Eric Lux , Dominik Farnbacher , Dirk Werner