Farnbacher Loles Racing will start five cars in Sunday's Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series race at Thunderbolt Raceway in Millville, N.J. Thursday testing was limited due to concerns about the new 2.25-mile road course, but subsequent safety modifications and regulations allowed the action to continue.
Bryce Miller of Summit, N.J., led the team's qualifying effort on Saturday, setting the No. 87 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car ninth on the 25-car GT grid with a lap of one minute 20.194 seconds at an average speed of 101.005 mph. He will drive first on Sunday, followed by Dirk Werner of Kissenbrück, Germany.
Eric Lux of Jacksonville, Fla., qualified the No. 86 Porsche he shares with Leh Keen of Charleston, S.C. Lux will start 10th in class (1:20.233, 100.956 mph). Steve Johnson of Bristol, Va., made it a triple team run, qualifying in 1:20.338 (100.824 mph), quick enough for 11th on the GT grid. Johnson and Dave Lacey of Toronto, Ont., will share stints on Sunday.
Farnbacher Loles is also preparing Porsches for JLowe Racing drivers Jim Lowe of Bryn Mawr, Pa., and Jim Pace of Ridgeland, Miss. (No. 63) and Tim Sugden of Leeds, England, and Johannes van Overbeek of San Francisco (No. 64). Lowe qualified the No. 63 Porsche on Saturday (1:22.064, 98.703 mph), but Sugden was unable to record a qualifying time when the No. 64 Porsche's driver identification transponder failed.
Jim Lowe, No. 63: "The team set up a great car – the engineers, mechanics, everybody. We got this together from yesterday after a bit of a slow start, and today the car's ready to run and I can race it, so that's good. We were short a couple of laps in practice, so I used most of qualifying as a practice session. I took about eight-tenths [of a second] off my time, so I was happy with that. The track is good – there is certainly a lot of grip and we know it now, so we know where we have to be."
Eric Lux, No. 86: "The crew gave me a great car for qualifying; it was really neutral. It's an interesting track surface and it took some time for the tires to come up to temp. The last two laps, I really pushed hard and went for it. However, the series made us come in because I dropped a wheel [off the track] twice when I was pushing for a good time in qualifying. I'm pretty frustrated right now."
Bryce Miller, No. 87: "It was a big improvement for me. I've been struggling a little bit with the track, but the car was very good and the crew did a great job to overhaul the gearbox for qualifying and the race. The setup was really fantastic, so that gave me the confidence that I needed to take the next step. Now, for the race, we should be good to run nose-to-tail with the others. We're the second Porsche on the grid – we'd like to be the first, but it's a fair showing and I think we'll have a good race."
Steve Johnson, No. 88: "I didn't come here to knit! The car was great. I expected things to slow down with the track temperatures up this afternoon, but we were quicker in qualifying than our morning session. The guys did a great job with the car and you can't ask anything more than that."