Watkins Glen: Farnbacher Loles Racing qualifying report

Farnbacher Loles Racing will start the six-hour Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series race at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International from third on the GT grid. Wolf Henzler of Nurtingen, Germany, paced the team's three entries with a fast lap of one minute...

Farnbacher Loles Racing will start the six-hour Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series race at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International from third on the GT grid. Wolf Henzler of Nurtingen, Germany, paced the team's three entries with a fast lap of one minute 52.969 seconds (108.348 mph) on the 3.4-mile road course. He will drive the No. 87 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup first on Saturday, then alternate stints with Dominik Farnbacher of Ansbach, Germany, and Dirk Werner of Kissenbruck, Germany.

"I'm happy with the qualifying. Third position is okay. I did the time in my first lap and after that, I couldn't go faster. I did a cool-down lap and tried again, but again, I couldn't go faster," Henzler said. "The car was pretty good today.The crew worked very fast and did a good job, even though there was not much time between the last practice and the qualifying. With Dirk and Dominik, it's a good driver lineup. I hope we can finish on the podium tomorrow."

Pierre Kaffer of Salenstein, Switzerland, qualified the No. 86 Porsche 13th on the 26-car GT grid in 1:54.519 (106.882 mph). He is driving with Leh Keen of Charleston, S.C., and Eric Lux of Jacksonville, Fla., this weekend. After a class pole position in Mexico and a strong-front row qualifying effort in California this season, he was disappointed to be mid-grid.

'It's the first time I'm not happy after qualifying -- we're far too slow. We have to work for the race tomorrow to get more consistence in the car and, of course, more speed," he said. "The race is long tomorrow, so many things can happen. And it will be hot. We have to take care with our tire wear. If we can manage that, I think we have a lot we can do in the race."

Dave Lacey qualified the No. 88 Porsche 18th in class (1:56.353, 105.197 mph). He will share driving duty with Steve Johnson of Bristol, Va., and John Potter of Salt Lake City, Utah. Lacey agreed tire management will be critical for the Porsche contingent during the six-hour endurance race.

"I was a little bit disappointed with qualifying. I didn't get a clean lap on my second lap, which is when the tires were at their optimum. We went faster in practice this morning in the first session on used tires! I was hoping to qualify top-10 and we ended up 18th," Lacey said.

"We're trying to balance the tire performance with the camber -- the mechanical grip in the car. That's been a fine line for us. These Pirellis aren't really designed for as much weight as we have over the rear axle, so the guys are doing a great job trying to find that balance between camber and tire degradation. It's just part of the learning curve we have to go through [working with a new series specified tire]."

-credit: flr

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Series Grand-Am
Drivers Dave Lacey , Pierre Kaffer , Wolf Henzler , Steve Johnson , Lehman Keen , Eric Lux , Dominik Farnbacher , Dirk Werner , John Potter