Homestead: Tafel Racing race report

Tafel Racing Finishes Fourth at Homestead HOMESTEAD, Fla.-After qualifying 3rd and 5th in class at the Linder Industrial Komatsu Grand Prix of Miami at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Tafel Racing encountered a day full of challenges, but persevered...

Tafel Racing Finishes Fourth at Homestead

HOMESTEAD, Fla.-After qualifying 3rd and 5th in class at the Linder Industrial Komatsu Grand Prix of Miami at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Tafel Racing encountered a day full of challenges, but persevered to finish 4th and 19th in the GT class.

Eric Lux, of Buffalo,, NY,qualified 3rd I in the 74 Rembrandt Charms Porsche GT3 Cup and had some great lap times early on, charging ahead to take the lead, but found problems with the car's performance.

"I started off really well and early on I was able to take the lead, but then all of a sudden the car started having massive oversteer under braking and throughout the corner."

Lux was in 4th place when he turned his car over to German Wolf Henzler, who led the class near the middle of the race and posted the quickest lap time of the race weekend. Although his position had slipped to third at the end, it looked like he might still finish on the podium, but he was passed by Dirk Werner in the 87 Farnbacher Loles Porsche in the final lap, leaving Henzler with a 4th place finish.

"I am not happy that I finished fourth," said Henzler. "There was nothing for me to do with too much oversteer. I tried to keep him [Werner] behind me, but once he passed, there was nothing for me to do with no time left, so I am disappointed. We did have some good lap times, though so we can make the changes on the car and have a good finish at VIR."

Problems arose for the 72 North-South Machinery.com Porsche GT3 Cup early in the afternoon. On the second lap of the race, Nathan Swartzbaugh, of La Habra Heights, CA, began having problems with the suspension due to contact on the first lap of the race. The car was in the pits three different times as the crew worked to correct the problems.

Teammate Andrew Davis took over for Swartzbaugh and quickly began posting lap times near those of the leader, but ran into problems of his own.

"The issue was with lack of grip in the tires," Davis said. "I was able to do great times at the beginning of my stint on new tires, but the tire performance just fell off quickly. By the end, there just was nothing left from the tires. But the guys did a great job with the suspension problems early on and got us back out there quickly without too much time lost."

Swartzbaugh got back in the car near the end of the race and found the car's performance much improved. "The first stint I barely had some warm up laps before the car was in pieces. The second stint was great. Obviously there wasn't optimal stability, but I was out there racing with the other cars. I was racing the Pontiac and we were right there. If we would have had those kinds of laps early on, we would have a much better finish." Swartzbaugh finished in 19th position in class.

Tafel Racing goes to Virginia International Raceway in Alton, Virginia on April 28 for round four of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve. The race will be tape delayed and broadcast on SPEED on April 28 at 8:30 PM ET.

Swartxbaugh: "The first stint I barely had some warm up laps before the car was in pieces. The second stint was great. Obviously there wasn't optimal stability, but I was out there racing with the other cars. I was racing the Pontiac and we were right there. If we would have had those kind of laps early on, we would have a much better finish."

Davis: "The issue was with the tires. I was able to do great times at the beginning of my stint on new tires, but the tire performance just fell off quickly. By the end, there just was nothing left from the tires. But the guys did a great job with the suspension problems early on and got us back out there quickly without too much time lost."

Lux: "I started off really and early on I was able to take the lead, but then all of a sudden the car started having massive oversteer under braking and throughout the corner."P4 at end of stint.

Henzler: "I am very disappointed with my fourth place finish. There was nothing for me to do with too much oversteer.

-credit: tr

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Andrew Davis , Eric Lux , Dirk Werner