TAFEL RACING GRAND AM CUP AT BARBER BIRMINGHAM, Al. -- After two days of testing and practice in the grueling Alabama summer heat, the Tafel Racing team welcomed the overcast skies that were present as race day arrived. Those same overcast...
TAFEL RACING GRAND AM CUP AT BARBER
BIRMINGHAM, Al. -- After two days of testing and practice in the grueling Alabama summer heat, the Tafel Racing team welcomed the overcast skies that were present as race day arrived. Those same overcast skies that cooled the morning temperatures to a tolerable level would turn into an afternoon storm that changed the outcome of the race.
Eric Lux of Buffalo, NY qualified the 175 Tafel Racing Rembrandt Charms Porsche 996 in second position with a lap time of 1:37.958 on the 2.38 mile,16 turn course at Barber Motorsports Park. Lux was pleased with his starting position, the highest he has had this season. "The car was really good in the practice session yesterday and in the test the day before. We came here twice to test before this race and it paid off with a great setup. I also got the chance to become really familiar with the track." Co-driver Andrew Davis of Bogart, Ga. has been a lead instructor for the Porsche Driving Experience since the track opened in 2003, so racing at Barber is like coming home for him.
After starting second, Lux drove an excellent stint, despite the increasing afternoon heat and the traffic problems associated with a 71- car field. His position varied between 3rd and 5th with a quickest lap time of 1:39.153, only .6 seconds behind the best lap time of the eventual winner. Trouble came, however, when a routine pit stop for fuel and driver change revealed a problem that cost precious time. The refueling system had not worked properly, causing Andrew Davis to have to come in after only two laps. The adjustment was made, the car was completely refueled and everything looked great until the storm clouds moved in. Only five laps into Davis' stint, the decision was made by Grand Am officials to red flag the race due to severe storms in the area.
The race never went back to green and was ended with about 45 minutes left. With the race ending prematurely, there was no time to make up the laps lost, and the car finished a disappointing 31st in class. Despite this disappointment, the team has great confidence in the performance of their car and the skills of their drivers. Tafel Racing will be heading north next weekend for the Grand Prix of Trois Rivieres on August 4-6.