SCC: Birmingham: Tafel Racing race report

TAFEL RACING COMES FROM BEHIND FOR PODIUM FINISH AT BARBER BIRMINGHAM, AL - After starting at the back of the seventeen-car GT field in the Porsche 250 presented by Bradley Arant, Wolf Henzler and Robin Liddell maneuvered their way through ...

TAFEL RACING COMES FROM BEHIND FOR PODIUM FINISH AT BARBER

BIRMINGHAM, AL - After starting at the back of the seventeen-car GT field in the Porsche 250 presented by Bradley Arant, Wolf Henzler and Robin Liddell maneuvered their way through traffic in the 72 Tafel Racing NEC Porsche GT3 to finish second at Barber Motorsports Park. The car was unable to go out for the qualifying session because the engine was being replaced, so according to Grand Am rules they started at the back of the GT pack.

The crew made sure it was ready to go out for the final race day practice where it had the second quickest lap time, although times were off for the entire field due to rain. This is the pair's 7th podium finish this season.

Henzler, of Germany, had worked his way up to the front of the GT field when he turned the car over to Robin Liddell of Scotland. Liddell build on his teammate's performance, taking the car to first place in lap 48. By lap 70, Liddell had slipped to 2nd, where he would remain for the rest of the race except for a quick pit stop for a splash of fuel. Liddell's quickest lap, a 1:31.290 late in the race, was .4 sec. faster than the 65 TRG Pontiac that eventually won.

Henzler commented on starting from the back of the field, "It was harder than I thought to work my way through traffic to get to the front of the field, but I just looked for opportunities and overtook any time I could and finally made my way to the front."

Liddell shared the team's frustration in finding the correct setup to maximize performance with changing weather and track conditions. "The track was quite different from when we came here to test, so we had to keep making adjustments to our setup. Then the temperature dropped near the end of the race when the clouds came in. Really, it was just the things racing is about in general that you can't predict."

Eric Lux of Buffalo, NY and Ian James of Phoenix, AZ just missed the podium, bringing their 74 Tafel Racing Rembrandt Charms Porsche GT3 in 4th after qualifying 6th the day before. Lux had qualified 2nd in the Grand Am Cup Series the day before in the 175 Tafel Racing Rembrandt Charms Porsche 996. Both drivers drove good stints, taking the car as high as 2nd, but there were some problems with pit stops, which is where the team is looking to improve next time out.

Andrew Davis of Bogart, Ga. qualified the 73 Tafel Racing NEC Porsche GT3 on the pole with a time of 1:31.775 on the 2.38 mile circuit where he has been lead instructor at the Porsche Driving Experience driving school since the track opened. He is co-driving the car with team owner Jim Tafel of Alpharetta, Ga., who is only in his second season of racing. They finished the race 6th; giving them their 5th top ten finish of the season.

"It was a great race, even with the heat. The crew really worked hard to give us such a good car. We had to make some changes up to race day, even though we tested here a few weeks ago. Jim and I both drove a strong race with consistently good lap times, so now it's time to start focusing on Infineon and delivering a strong finish there," said Davis.

Tafel Racing is second in the team points with only two races left in the season. The next event for the GT class in the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve is being held at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, CA. on August 24-26. The race will be broadcast on SPEED Channel on August 27 at 3:00 P.M. ET.

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Robin Liddell , Ian James , Andrew Davis , Wolf Henzler , Jim Tafel , Eric Lux