Farnbacher Loles Racing put three cars in the GT field for Sunday's Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series race at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala., despite a 92-degree ambient temperature that taxed both cars and drivers.
Bryce Miller of Summit, N.J., led the team contingent, qualifying the No. 87 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car sixth in class with a lap of one minute 29.397 seconds (92. 621 mph) on the 2.3-mile road course. He will drive the first race stint, followed by Dirk Werner of Kissenbrück, Germany, who was in Ohio on Saturday, competing in an American Le Mans Series race.
"I don't seem to get along well with this track, but since this morning, I made some good strides in my driving and the car's really good, so I'm happy," Miller said. "The tires are going to be an issue, but I think the setup we have and the speed that we're carrying are the best happy medium. Hopefully, we'll get some yellows [cautions], so we can manage the tire life."
Eric Lux of Jacksonville, Fla., set the No. 86 Porsche 10th on the 21-car grid with his lap of 1:30.030, at an average speed of 91.969 mph. He and his co-driver, Leh Keen of Charleston, S.C., are both fit and ready to race.
"In qualifying, the car was relatively quick. I made a mistake on the last corner, which cost quite a bit of time and I lost the front end, but we've been experimenting with a lot of changes and it's going very well. I'm confident that we'll be in the top five by the end of tomorrow's race," Lux said.
"It's pretty hot, but that's what's challenging about this track. This is where the training really pays off – who can handle the heat? If the cars can make it, the drivers better make it, too."
Steve Johnson of Bristol, Va., has logged extra laps in the No. 88 Porsche this weekend, as the sole driver in practice and qualifying sessions. His co-driver, Richard Westbrook of London, England, will arrive in time for the Sunday race, after competing in the American Le Mans Series race in Ohio. Johnson qualified 13th in GT (1:30.635, 91.355).
"We've got a really good race car," Johnson said. "The car didn't go out and turn a hot qualifying lap, but the lap time we ran, we ran over and over and over and over again. Where the other cars were falling off, we were solid and consistent. So it's going to be a great race car. I've run every minute of every session, so I'm ready for Richard to get here!"