Farnbacher Loles Racing will support five Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars in the inaugural Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series race at Thunderbolt Raceway in Millville, N.J., this weekend. The entry is the team's second-largest of the year, following a seven-car effort in the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona in January.
The team will field its three full-season cars: the No. 86 Porsche for Leh Keen of Charleston, S.C., and Eric Lux of Jacksonville, Fla.; the No. 87 Porsche for Bryce Miller of Summit, N.J., and Dirk Werner of Kissenbrück, Germany; and the No. 88 Porsche for Steve Johnson of Bristol, Va., and Dave Lacey of Toronto, Ont. In addition, the 50 team members will prepare two cars for JLowe Racing – the No. 63 Porsche driven by Jim Lowe of Bryn Mawr, Pa., and Jim Pace of Ridgeland, Miss., and the No. 64 Porsche for Tim Sugden of Leeds, England, and Johannes van Overbeek of San Francisco, Calif.
Team owner Gregory Loles is optimistic the five cars will be strong contenders.
"We are looking forward to an excellent showing in New Jersey this weekend. The Porsche has benefited from the recent adjustments made by Grand-Am and now we feel every race is up for grabs," he said. "Our friends at Pontiac and Mazda are fighting for a championship; we wish them well, but we will challenge for the win. I welcome Jim Lowe and all the JLowe Racing team members. The transition has been smooth and now it's time for business. The two JLowe Racing entries supported by us will add to the chances of Porsche coming away with a win."
The 2.25-mile Thunderbolt road course was completed this year in the first phase of construction at New Jersey Motorsports Park. The Farnbacher Loles drivers have been studying track maps, hoping to quickly learn the new track during practice this week. Leh Keen and Eric Lux would like to match the GT class win they scored in June.
"I'm very excited to race on this new track in New Jersey. It's always nice to be able to take part in an opening of a new track," Lux said. "It will be interesting to see how some drivers adapt to a track they've never raced on. I think it will be a close race. After Montréal, where we had a good run going, I know we can carry the momentum to New Jersey. And as we start to close the season, it would be great to get another podium for Farnbacher Loles."
Local driver Bryce Miller will have a personal cheering section on hand for the race – 300 sponsor guests.
"Our sponsors will be quite involved with our effort at Thunderbolt due to the proximity of their headquarters out of New Jersey and New York City," he noted. "Marquis Jet is actually hosting a pre-race event for all the Grand-Am teams, which will be really fun. There will be a joint sponsored suite for 300 guests, as well, on race day. It will be a good opportunity for our sponsors to entertain and network with clients and prospects, but also enjoy the experience."
The New Jersey race is the penultimate Rolex Series race this season. Although he won't be able to repeat his 2007 class driver championship, Dirk Werner is still gunning for victory.
"I think New Jersey will be a very exciting race for us. It's Bryce's home track and he will have some guests there, so we are putting a lot of effort into this race. Hopefully, we'll get a win by the end of the season," Werner said. "The team also has a new challenge – it's bringing five cars to the track. But I'm sure they can manage to make all five cars fast. I'm looking forward to the new track. It looks very exciting on the track map."
The two-hour 45-minute race is scheduled for Sunday afternoon, Aug. 31.