TEAM NEWS: Tafel Racing Heads to Houston for Third Straight Street Race

Photo by John Thawley Cumming, Georgia, April 17, 2007 -- Tafel Racing is going directly from Long Beach to Houston for round four of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) Houston Grand Prix to be run this Saturday.

The Lone Star state will play host for the second year to the ALMS cars on the grounds of Reliant Stadium, home of the Houston Texans. The race also marks the third consecutive street race for the series.

Coming off top five finishes at St. Petersburg and Long Beach, the Tafel team is hungry for another podium finish like they were able to put together at the season opener in Sebring. Wolf Henzler and Robin Liddell have shown great speed at these street circuits, having lead significant laps in each event. The duo are currently third in the GT2 points standing with teammates Jim Tafel and Dominik Farnbacher in sixth.

Wolf Henzler is the only Tafel driver with experience around the 1.7-mile, 10-turn temporary parking lot course. The German finished second there last year in GT2.

"The track has a couple of big bumps in the key sections like coming on to the main straight and the fast right hand sweeper," Henzler said. "You really need to run a car pretty close to the way we did at Sebring. The team has a good setup for the street races, so I am looking forward to returning to Houston. I came second there last year so I am familiar with the track and I hope that we can have a similar result."

Robin Liddell will be making his first laps at the Houston track. The Scot is confident in the car and wants to get back to the podium.

"The other drivers who have raced there talk about how rough the circuit is," Liddell said. "It will probably be hot during the day, but we race in the evening so it shouldn't be too bad. At these types of tracks you have to be careful with the setup. The team has a good base car for the street circuits that enables us to capitalize on the low grip of these temporary tracks. We need to take advantage of these races and have a strong finish this weekend."

Dominik Farnbacher is enjoying the challenge of learning and racing on new street circuits.

"Houston is another brand new street circuit for me," said Farnbacher. "I have taken the approach of studying the track layout and walking the circuit like I did at St. Pete and Long Beach. Once you have a general idea of which way the circuit flows, you have to get behind the wheel and be competitive. I have heard the track is bumpy and it will be very hot. We have the benefit of Wolf's experience there so that will definitely help."

Jim Tafel partners Farnbacher in the No. 73 Porsche. The Georgia resident will do his homework and be ready for another new street circuit.

"Third street race in a row," Tafel said. "We are double jumping like checkers around the county. I have to get these tracks figured out in a short amount of time. I am learning a lot about street courses and how to get up to speed on a new track quickly. At Long Beach I knew the layout of the track in a few laps and got down to making fast times. I will do the same at Houston."

"This will be our third street in a row and we are getting stronger with each outing," Tony Dowe, team technical director said. "As a new team I am proud of where we are as a unit. We have gotten stronger with each race and the speed of the car in the races is right up at the front with the leaders. The Houston race will be run to regulation distance and that helps us. The crew and drivers are motivated for a successful weekend."

The Houston Grand Prix will be run on Saturday, April 21st and will be televised, tape delayed, on Sunday, April 29th at 12:00 p.m. ET on CBS.


Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.
Editor Permission Required
You must have editing permission for this entry in order to post comments.