TEAM NEWS: Tafel Racing Heads To Mid-Ohio With Expectations

Photo by John Thawley Tafel Racing is headed to Mid-Ohio Sportscar Course for round seven of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) nearly one month sabbatical. The team is hungry for mid-season results.

Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course is known as a drivers track. The 2.2-mile, 13-turn layout offers nearly every kind of corner with the added feature of elevation change. The track was repaved last year and for 2007 the curbs have been cut down, making it even faster.

Wolf Henzler is the returning GT2 winner from last year at Mid-Ohio. Henzler would like nothing more than to give the Tafel team their first win at the Central Ohio track.

"I have been there already with Grand-Am this year," said Henzler. "They made some more improvements to the track since last year, mainly cutting down the curbs, that will help us. Also the new surface has remained really smooth and even has better grip. I won there last year in GT2, so I hope we can get the team our first win of the year. We need a good result after Lime Rock."

Robin Liddell counts Mid-Ohio as one of his favorite tracks in America. He won there in his debut in the P2 category and also posted a win last year in the Tafel Porsche GT3 in Grand-Am.

"Both cars had a difficult time at Lime Rock, but although the driving standards were largely professional, there were a few questionable maneuvers which caused both cars problems," Liddell said. "We need to be a tiny bit more competitive than we were at Lime Rock, and also we need a little break and we will be back on the podium again. The Porsche cars have been steadily closing the gap to the Ferrari, and whilst the last race at Lime Rock saw the Ferraris very competitive. It also showed that even a 2:45 minute race can be seen as an endurance race and so the Porsche has as good a chance as any. In addition, some of the improvements we have seen in the package should be a little bit more noticeable as we get to the faster tracks. I like Mid-Ohio, having won there on my debut in the Intersport car in 2004, and also winning the Grand-Am GT race this time last year."

Team owner and driver Jim Tafel is still stewing from the Lime Rock weekend. He is ready for the hard work that the team has put into the two Porsche RSR racers to come to fruition.

"Lime Rock was a tough race for us," said Tafel. "I was really disappointed after Lime Rock. It is hard when you get taken out twice. We had two fast cars and we were beat-up and really couldn't show our stuff. I am hoping that the development work we have been doing will start to payoff at Mid-Ohio this weekend. Robin and Wolf have won there in Grand-Am and Wolf won there in ALMS last year. We need to run fast and clean this weekend."

Dominik Farnbacher knows the team can post better finishes. His stint at Lime Rock two-weeks ago had him running times with the GT2 leaders

"Mid-Ohio is a great sports car track," Farnbacher said. "It has a lot of great turns and is pretty fast. We should do well there this weekend. We tested at Road America, not that it helped at Lime Rock, but I hope it will pay dividends at Mid-Ohio. We need to start finishing in the top five. We have the car and drivers to do it. Toward the end of the Lime Rock race we were running times as fast as the leaders."

"We came back from Lime Rock with a trailer full of work," said Tony Dowe, team technical director. "The guys have put in a lot of hours to get the cars back into shape. Everyone was pretty disappointed with the way things went in Connecticut. Mid-Ohio will be a better track for this team. The drivers have had a lot of success there and we have one race in Grand-Am at the track already to our credit. We need to get back to the podium."

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