Farnbacher Loles Racing earned its second-consecutive podium on Thursday evening, taking second place in the GT class on the last lap of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla.
Both drivers of the No. 87 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car led the class during the two-hour 25-minute race. Dirk Werner of Kissenbrück, Germany, started second and took the class lead at the green flag. He handed off to Bryce Miller of Summit, N.J., from second place and Miller regained the class lead on a subsequent restart. He dropped back to third behind two stronger Mazdas and was passed by a Pontiac as one of the Mazdas flipped, bringing out a late-race caution. With one green flag lap to the finish, Miller passed the Pontiac for second place.
Their teammates Leh Keen of Charleston, S.C., and Eric Lux of Jacksonville, Fla., weren't able to repeat their class win of the previous race, at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Lux started sixth in class after a transmission problem slowed his qualifying effort in the No. 86 Porsche. He moved up to second in class, then had to pit for replacement of a radiator hose coupling. The repair cost the team 10 laps and the car finished 20th.
Farnbacher Loles also prepared the No. 63 Porsche for JLowe Racing drivers Jim Lowe of Bryn Mawr, Pa., and Jim Pace of Ridgeland, Miss. Lowe started 22nd and gained nine positions before pitting for a driver change. Pace had only one lap before the car was out of the race with a gearbox failure.
car time driver action
86 start Lux
21m Lux pit – replaced radiator hose coupling, fuel
40m Lux back on track, 10 laps down
1h16 change pit – Keen in, four tires, fuel
87 start Werner GT class lead
40m Werner pit – four tires, fuel
12h16 change pit – Miller in, four tires, fuel
1h26 Miller GT class lead
63 start Lowe
41m change pit – Pace in, four tires, fuel
44m Pace out of race, gearbox
Dino Loles, team owner: "We're really happy with the result, to take the victory at Mid-Ohio with one car, then come here and finish second with the other car. We feel that was the maximum we could get out of the Porsche today and we're happy to have achieved the podium for Porsche. With a little luck, the 86 car would have been there, also, and the 63 had a strong run going. Hopefully, we can take this newfound momentum to [the next race at] Barber Motorsports Park."
Leh Keen, No. 86: "Today's result doesn't show the whole story. We ran well all day and were P1 in the second practice session. In the race, we were one of the fastest GT cars at any given time. We had a radiator hose blow, which is just one of those things, but the car got fixed and we were again one of the fastest. I'm happy for the 87 and wish we could have been on podium with them. I know we had a podium car tonight. That would have been a double podium for the team and they deserve that."
Eric Lux, No. 86: "The crew did a really great job getting the car back after qualifying, when we blew a transmission. The car was excellent, so I just wanted to get up front as quick as I could and get away from all the chaos behind us. During that time, the coupling of a radiator hose fell off and I ended up doing a spin on my own car's fluid. The motor got really hot and it took 10 laps to fix the radiator hose. It's too bad because we really had a shot at winning here."
Bryce Miller, No. 87: "It's a great feeling to score a podium after such a long while and to be reunited with Dirk. He set me up perfectly for this evening. It's just great to be back here and have the exposure to this driving development and to be able to run for a podium finish like that at the end of the race. It's been a long time coming, so to deliver a result like this after such a trying season is certainly a good feeling, and it's good to share with our sponsors, Marquis Jet and Resorts International, as well."
Dirk Werner, No. 87: "I'm absolutely happy with the race. Finally, our series of bad luck ended today. I'm really proud of the crew and all the people who worked on the car that we could finally get a podium after that many bad races. I know it's not easy to keep the motivation high, but the mechanics kept on giving us a good car and preparing it as if we were running for the championship. That's just awesome! Bryce brought the luck back to our car and we showed today that our car was the fastest Porsche again."