Farnbacher Loles Racing will start the 1000-mile / 10-hour Petit Le Mans race from second on the American Le Mans Series GT2 class grid.
Dirk Werner of Kissenbrück, Germany, qualified the team's No. 87 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR in one minute 19.456 seconds (115.083 mph) on the 2.54-mile Road Atlanta road course in Braselton, Ga. His lap was only 57-thousandths of a second slower than the class pole-winning Ferrari (1:19.399). Both times were under the previous class qualifying record of 1:21.647.
The Farnbacher Loles crew worked through Thursday night, changing both the engine and gearbox in the race car. It's ready to race now, with Werner set to drive the first race stint on Saturday, followed by Bryce Miller of Summit, N.J., and Jörg Hardt of Bonn, Germany.
"Definitely, the team showed great performance today, as it did all week long when we were testing. To be beaten at the end by the Ferrari by six-hundredths of a second is not a shame. We've had close competition all year long and the battle between Ferrari and Porsche goes on," Werner said.
"The team worked really long yesterday to get the car in shape so we could go for the front row in GT2. That makes me optimistic that the car will be good for the race. Tactics now change a little bit for the race: It's not as fast as you can go, but as safe as you can. The car definitely has a good result in it and the team is able to do great work, so now I think it's the drivers' part to bring it home."
Steve Steelman will join the Farnbacher Loles crew in pit lane on Saturday. He was high bidder in the ALMS auction to raise funds for breast cancer research, winning the position of honorary crew member for the day.
Farnbacher Loles also fielded two cars in IMSA Challenge by Michelin races at Road Atlanta this week. Darrell Carlisle of McLean, Va., drove the No. 43 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car to a fifth-place Platinum cup class finish on Thursday. Ben McCrackin of Corpus Christi, Texas, earned sixth-place Platinum honors on Friday in the No. 81 Porsche.