Friday
Jul062007

TEAM NEWS: Baas Is Immediately Fast In Brand-New Farnbacher Loles Porsche; Team Signs Him for Rest of Season

Photo by John Rawley DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., July 5 - Although the final results of the Brumos

Porsche 250 weren't what Ian Baas was looking for Thursday night at Daytona

International Speedway, Farnbacher Loles Racing was so impressed by his work with its

brand-new No. 85 Porsche that the team has signed the Noblesville, Ind.-based

driver for the remainder of the Rolex Series season.

Although the No. 85 was just sheet metal a week ago and there were only two

and a half hours of practice on Thursday before qualifying, Baas put the car

third on the GT grid for Thursday night's race, which was covered live on SPEED.

The 24-year-old driver's best lap in qualifying was a 1:54.163 (112.261 miles

per hour), the best speed recorded by any of the 11 Porsches entered in the

21-car GT class.

Earlier in the day the entry, which Baas shared with Dominik Farnbacher, was

seventh in the first practice session with a fastest lap of 1:55.080 (111.366

mph) and second in the second practice session with a 1:55.762 (110.710 mph).

Unfortunately later that night an over-aggressive driver hit Baas on the

first lap of the race in NASCAR Turn 1, damaging the Porsche's left-rear wheel.

Emil Assentato got around him shortly thereafter to push Baas to fourth, but

Baas retook third on lap four when he repassed Assentato.

The contact at the start was causing the left-rear wheel to pull away from

its hub, however, which caused Baas to spin in the chicane with six laps down

while running third to bring out the first full-course caution. Although he did

not hit the wall or anything else, the damage to the wheel and the suspension

from the contact at the start forced him to retire at that point. He was 20th

in the final rundown with the Porsche, which is sponsored by Shoes for Crews

and Recaro.

"Nathan Swartzbaugh got a stop-and-go penalty for avoidable contact over it,

but he never touched me," Baas said afterwards about the spin. "The problem

was a direct result of the over-aggressive actions of another driver at the

initial start of the race. It wasn't Nathan's fault at all.

"It was very disappointing because the car was great; I really felt like we

had a podium in hand," Baas continued. "The Farnbacher Loles team is

first-rate. We really work well together. When you consider that this car wasn't even

finished four days ago, it really shows the talent of this team."

The team was impressed with Baas too, and it has signed him for the remainder

of the season. He'll substitute for the injured Leh Keen and be paired with

Farnbacher again at the next race, which is coming right up next Sunday at

Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. His co-driver and the Farnbacher Loles Porsche

he'll drive is expected to vary in subsequent races depending on when Keen is

able to return and other scheduling considerations, but Baas will be with the

Danbury, Conn.-based organization for the remainder of the 2007 Rolex Series

season.

Baas will practice in his STaSIS Motorsport Audi A4 No. 18 Friday afternoon

in Toronto in preparation for a SPEED World Challenge Touring Car race at Ex

hibition Place there on Sunday. Part of the Grand Prix of Toronto Champ Car

weekend, that race will be broadcast on a tape-delayed basis at 11 a.m. Eastern

Saturday, July 14 on SPEED.

Next Sunday's GT race at Iowa Speedway will be broadcast live on SPEED at 3

p.m. Eastern.

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