Farnbacher Loles Racing came within one lap of a second-place GT2 finish in the American Le Mans Series race at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah, on Sunday, but the effort was for naught as the team's No. 87 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR was excluded from race results for a technical violation.
Marc Basseng of Leutenbach, Germany, drove the firs stint, starting from 13th on the 16-car GT2 grid after his fourth-place qualifying effort was disallowed. Basseng's co-driver, Dirk Werner of Kissenbrück, Germany, was in Utah for a track test day on Friday, but did not participate in an official series practice session, so the car was moved back.
Basseng drove the first stint, steadily working through the field to third in class before handing off to Werner halfway through the two-hour 45-minute race. Werner returned to the track seventh, then charged to second, setting a class race lap record of one minute 48.104 seconds. With a low fuel reading in the car, the team opted to stop for a splash of fuel on the last lap of the race, dropping the car to finish fourth in class. A post-race technical inspection indicated the car's fuel cell capacity was over the series limit, so the team was excluded from race results.
time driver action
1h21 change pit – Werner in, four tires, fuel
2h43 Werner pit – fuel
Marc Basseng: "The beginning of the first stint was okay; I overtook the slower cars. Our car was really, really good. I came in from third position, so that was okay. My teammate did a really, really good job – he was quick and he was saving fuel, but we had to do a splash at the end. Fourth place ... normally we'd say it's a good result for us, but today it's definitely not. We had a good chance to be on the podium. I hope we can keep this pace for the next race weekend, so we can be on the podium again."
Dirk Werner: "Obviously, the coin has two sides – the good one, because we saw that we are competitive, the car was really good. The setup was awesome; we could do consistent lap times, very fast lap times. We gambled a little bit with the fuel. If there had been another yellow [caution period], we would have been the kings. But we had to stop another time and lost the podium. I'm a little bit disappointed because a podium would have been very good, but it's still a good base for the next races. Today our car was fast enough to win."
Tom Pank of Walkersville, Md., led all but the last lap of the IMSA Challenge race at Miller Motorsports Park on Sunday. Pank started from the pole in the No. 42 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car and held the lead until the start of the last lap. He locked up his tires and relinquished the lead, leaving him second. He also scored a seventh-place class finish on Saturday.
"We were sitting in the car getting bored for 20 minutes [during a caution period], but we had 10 minutes of pure fun," he said. "My tires didn't come in until a good ways in and then I started to run aggressively, trying to walk away from Dino [race winner Steiner] and I locked up into turn one and he got me."
Darrell Carlisle of McLean, Va., led the Farnbacher Loles contingent on Saturday with a fourth-place class finish in the No. 43 Porsche. He finished 11th in class on Sunday, after an unplanned pitstop to change tires. Paul Orwicz of New Canaan, Conn., recorded 13th- and 19th-place class finishes in the No. 47 Porsche.