VIR: Farnbacher Loles Racing qualifying report

Farnbacher Loles Racing earned the GT pole position for Sunday's Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series race at Virginia International Raceway, capping a 42-hour day for the polesitter, Dominik Farnbacher of Ansbach, Germany, and his co-driver Dirk...

Farnbacher Loles Racing earned the GT pole position for Sunday's Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series race at Virginia International Raceway, capping a 42-hour day for the polesitter, Dominik Farnbacher of Ansbach, Germany, and his co-driver Dirk Werner of Kissenbruck, Germany. Farnbacher took the class pole in the No. 87 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car with a flying lap of one minute 53 401 seconds on the 3.27-mile road course in Alton, Va., at an average speed of 103.809 mph.

The drivers left Germany on Wednesday evening, EDT, and flew from Frankfurt to Chicago, with a planned connection to Greensboro, N.C., and a 90-minute commute to the track. But they were delayed 13 hours in Chicago, where they chased flights until finally grabbing the last two standby seats on a 1 am flight to Richmond, Va. After a two-hour flight and a four-hour drive to their hotel, they dozed for 30 minutes, then raced to the track for the first practice session. Qualifying followed six hours later.

"We made a little change on the car between the last session and the qualifying, and it was good," Farnbacher said. "The guys did an awesome job; they worked very fast and definitely the change helped. I tried to drive a few laps because I didn't drive a lot in the sessions before. I'm still tired from the long trip I had, so I just want to go to sleep! I think you cannot really see it right now, but I'm really happy and I'm proud of my guys."

Eric Lux of Jacksonville, Fla., qualified the No. 86 Farnbacher Loles Porsche seventh on the 26-car GT grid with a lap time of 1:54.199 (103.083). He will drive the first stint in the two-hour 45-minute race on Saturday, followed by his co-driver Leh Keen of Charleston, S.C.

"The car was pretty good. We made pretty big changes and rolled the dice, and we're about three-quarters of the way there. For the race, we'll be right on. It's so competitive right now at this track -- everyone's within one-tenth [of a second] for about eight places, so it was tough to move up once the tires got heat in them," Lux said. "I think Leh and I will have a pretty good car when the race comes around."

Steve Johnson of Bristol, Va., qualified the No. 88 Porsche 16th (1:55.695, 101.750 mph) in his first qualifying run with Farnbacher Loles Racing, but the car was moved to the back of the grid when it was found to be one pound underweight in post-qualifying technical inspection. Johnson and Dave Lacey of Toronto will share driving duty on Saturday.

"It's a tough crowd -- you run a 55 here and you're P16! The car is good; it will be good for the race. I'm really looking forward to my first race here at Farnbacher and with my teammate Dave Lacey. I always thought a lot of Dave and it's great to be able to run with him," Johnson said. "I love VIR. It's got it all -- it's up, down, left, right, in, out, it's beautiful, it's challenging, it's fun. It's VIR!"

teamwork

Dominik Farnbacher and Dirk Werner landed in Virginia without luggage, so both are missing their Head And Neck Support (HANS) devices required by series rules. Their teammates Leh Keen and Eric Lux shared their equipment with the German pair.

-credit: flr

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Series Grand-Am
Drivers Dave Lacey , Steve Johnson , Lehman Keen , Eric Lux , Dominik Farnbacher , Dirk Werner