Farnbacher Loles Racing led the GT2 class during the American Le Mans Series race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Saturday, but had to settle for a fourth-place finish. The team was fastest in class in the first test and practice sessions, qualified second and led the first part of the race, but a strategy error foiled the team's victory charge.
Richard Westbrook of London, England, drove the first race stint, starting second on the 14-car GT2 grid. He took the class lead after 21 minutes of the two-hour 45-minute race and held it until a miscue sent him to pit lane for a driver change just before the one-hour mark. The stop was one lap too early, costing the team a lap to the class leader. Dirk Werner of Kissenbrück, Germany, took the wheel, but was slowed leaving pit lane by a malfunctioning car airjack.
Werner returned to the track fourth in class. He moved up to second, then lost two positions as he stopped for fuel just past two hours. He briefly regained third place, but finished fourth.
car time driver action
87 start Westbrook
21m Westbrook GT2 lead
53m change pit – Werner in, four tires, fuel
2h2 Werner pit – fuel
Gregory Loles, team owner: "We can't sugar-coat it: It was Christmas in Mid-Ohio today and we gave it away; we gave a present to the [winning] Ferrari team. It was our race, we passed for the lead and then a strategy blunder put us in a position where we were unable to deliver the potential that the car and the drivers had. Unfortunately, there was some confusion and some miscommunication."
Dirk Werner: "I'm very disappointed, because there was a lot more in the car today. We still have to work on some special things, but the car was fast."
Richard Westbrook: "We had a great car. There was some confusion on the pitstop. We got lucky with the safety car, so we were about to get a full lap over everyone else in the field, but unfortunately, there was a bit of confusion in the pits and we were brought in on the wrong lap. Again, Farnbacher Loles gave Dirk and me a great car. Once again, we showed that we have the pace to fight against the top Ferraris and the top Porsches, and we can go away with our heads held high."