Should a team win races in its rookie season? Or contend for a championship?
The owners, drivers and crew at Farnbacher Loles Racing would say, "Yes!" And the new kids in the American Le Mans Series GT2 class have a track record to prove it.
They won their first two races – in the 2004 SPEED World Challenge GT Series – one from the pole position, one from the front row. They went on to win in their first full seasons of World Challenge and IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge racing the next year, and won the 2006 IMSA championship. The upstarts won the Rolex 24 At Daytona GT class in their first attempt, then scooped a triple championship in the 2007 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series.
In this first season of ALMS racing, Farnbacher Loles drivers have been class leaders in three races, earned a record pole, set a race-lap record and scored two podium finishes. Although the results don't yet show the power they've demonstrated on track, the team is optimistic the first win is within reach.
"We have been extremely fortunate regarding the achievements our technical staff and racing drivers have delivered in such a short time. The support we have continuously received from Porsche has played no small part in our success, and we look forward to building and developing our relationship further," team owner Dino Loles explained.
"However, at Farnbacher Loles, we place the greatest emphasis on the efficiency of our operating systems and processes. Whether it be in an administrative or technical capacity, with the help of our talented associates, we design and redesign our operation to acheive the highest possible level of quality for our customers on and off the race track. Results in racing are frequently determined by factors outside of our control – we are punted off or have an unlucky yellow and lose a lap – and so we aim to maximize our advantage in the factors we can control with meticulous preparation and organization."
Three talented drivers will share duty in the No. 87 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR for the four-hour ALMS race at Road America on Saturday. Bryce Miller of Summit, N.J., is the only one of the three who has raced on the 4.048-mile road course in Elkhart Lake, Wis. But he'll help his co-drivers (Dirk Werner of Kissenbrück, Germany, and Richard Westbrook of London, England) get up to speed quickly.
"I've enjoyed racing at Road America in past years. It's a high-speed circuit, which makes it good for drafting, with some technical hair-raising segments as well," Miller said.
"I am excited to share the drive with my two friends, Rick and Dirk. They have been part of what has been an impressive debut season for Farnbacher Loles Racing's one-car effort in ALMS. They have shown good speed in the car. The team has deserved victories in the last couple of races, so I'm hoping it's only a matter of time to achieve a winning result."
Werner will prepare for the new track online and on foot.
"I'm looking forward to racing at Road America," he said. "I've watched YouTube in-car cameras, but the best thing will be to walk the track. I think the track is very challenging – it seems to be fast and it's the right circuit for the Porsche we drive. I'm sure we have a good shot at the podium again, like the last races. Horst [Farnbacher, team owner and technical director] will make the car fast, then we just have to drive it."