Keen and Werner take second at Watkins Glen for Farnbacher Loles 8.7.09 -- Watkins Glen, NY -The Farnbacher Loles Racing team brought three cars and a championship lead to the Crown Royal 200 at The Glen. Leh Keen started from the pole in the ...
Keen and Werner take second at Watkins Glen for Farnbacher Loles
8.7.09 -- Watkins Glen, NY -The Farnbacher Loles Racing team brought three cars and a championship lead to the Crown Royal 200 at The Glen. Leh Keen started from the pole in the #87 Farnbacher Loles/Shock Doctor Porsche GT3 Cup and at the end, Dirk Werner brought the car home in second place. But considerable drama unfolded in the two hours between the start and finish.
At the start, Leh held the lead and stayed in front through the first round of pit stops, notching a race high 33 laps at the front. Eric Lux started the #86 Farnbacher Loles/Wheel Enhancement Porsche GT3 Cup from the fourth spot and quickly jumped up to second. Eric was running strong in second until the #76 Daytona Prototype hit the #86 and spun him causing the loss of numerous spots. Eric was able to continue on but the car showed signs of the collision. A late race contact caused more damage to the car before Porsche Junior Team driver Marco Holzer got behind the wheel. Holzer would eventually bring the car home in ninth place.
The #84 Dilysi Racing/Children's Tumor Foundation Porsche with John Tancredi behind the wheel started from back of the field and executed a different pit strategy by pitting on lap two to get in the mandatory early stop. John was running his first Grand-Am race and was getting faster with each lap before contact with the wall caused some body damage in the rear. But John continued on, eventually handing off to his co-driver Jim Pace. Tancredi and Pace would finish the race in a respectable 13th position.
Back at the front, Leh continued to soldier on, but it was far from an easy drive. After an early caution, the field came through turn one at the restart and two DP competitors came together directly in front of Keen. Between his fast reactions and a good dose of luck, one of the DPs narrowly missed the Porsche before heavily contacting the inside guardrail. Leh was fortunate to get through unscathed before handing off to Dirk. Dirk drove the last stint and jumped to the lead with 15 minutes left in the race. But lapped traffic caused a jam-up allowing the #69 Mazda to get by. Dirk turned the race's fastest lap trying to run down the Mazda, but at the end had to settle for second. The podium position added to the lead for Leh and Dirk in the Championship giving them a 31-point lead over Kelly Collins who finished in fifth.
The Grand-Am Rolex series next heads to Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal on August 29th.