Farnbacher Loles Laguna Seca race

Farnbacher Loles Racing capped its rookie American Le Mans Series season with a GT2 podium finish – following a record class pole position – at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif.

As in previous years, the season finale on the 2.238-mile road course was slowed by numerous caution periods, especially during the opening stint, with more than half of the four-hour race run under caution. Despite the slow pace, the Farnbacher Loles crew overcame bad luck on the caution timing to score the class podium. But a loose spring put the team's No. 87 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR outside the required technical specification and the car was excluded from race results.

Dirk Werner of Kissenbrück, Germany, started from the GT2 pole. He was passed at the start of the race, but regained the class lead during his first driving stint. Bryce Miller of Summit, N.J., took over at the one-hour mark, returning to the track fifth in class. He pitted for a driver change just past the halfway point, but the car's distance from the fuel rig caused the hose coupling to lock and the team incurred a penalty for fueling while working on the car. Werner fought back from fifth in class, two laps behind the class leader, to finish just one lap down, in third place.

However, the post-race technical inspection found the car to be lower than the required ride height and it was excluded from race results. The car's right-front spring perch had loosened during the first hour of the race, collapsing the spring and dropping the right front of the car below the required ride height.

race report

car          time             driver                          action

87           start              Werner                         GT2 pole

               25m              Werner                         regained GT2 lead

               1h                 change                         pit – Miller in, four tires, fuel

               2h18             change                         pit – Werner in, four tires, fuel

               2h26             Werner                         stop/go penalty for fueling while working on car

               2h31             Werner                         pit – fuel

               2h54             Werner                         pit – four tires, fuel

[quotes obtained before post-race inspection]

Bryce Miller:  "It's a good result, a podium result, but there is a little bit of disappointment that I reserve because I know we had the winning car today and the best car on the track. Dirk drove great in his last stint, but we fell out of sequence early with the timing of the yellow flags and it put us down a lap with the rest of the field behind us. But I think the team is here to stay, to run at the top and compete for championships. It's certainly been exciting to have been a part of it."

Dirk Werner:  "A podium for the last race of the season is good for the team. Although we had the fastest car today, we got a little bit unlucky with a few caution situations that put us a lap down. But I think we can be really happy because we were the best Porsche today and we showed good speed and good teamwork. I'm very happy that we could help Porsche to win the manufacturers' championship. That makes us proud and Porsche happy."