Dominik Farnbacher and Dirk Muller helped Tafel Racing to its fourth win of the American Le Mans Series season with victory in the final round of the year at Laguna Seca.
The win ensured the #71 Ferrari 430 ended the season with more wins than any other car in the GT2 class, while the victory also saw Tafel Racing wrap up second in the team championship and in the IMSA Cup for privateer entrants.
The pair started from third on the grid and Farnbacher took to the track for the opening stint of the four hour race and held his position through the first driver change, with Muller in second place as the pit-stops cycled through.
The former WTCC racer than found himself fighting for honours with the #62 Risi Ferrari, with the two cars running close together for the remainder of the race.
Despite contact between the two and the lead changing positions on more than one occasion, Muller was ahead when it mattered to secure the class win by just four seconds.
"Winning the last race is sweet,” Muller said. “I would say we had one hand on the championship trophy all year. I am proud of our team. Dom did a great job. The team, the Michelin tires, the Ferrari, we had the right package to win the chase. We didn't get the luck but we showed everyone how strong we are. To be the only guys with four victories is very sweet.
"I was two and a half hours in the car. I can't count the number of yellows that I had during my stint. The biggest challenge was keeping the tyres warm enough. I was behind the #62 and he was making it very complicated for me. He was really defending. I found the way by and then he pitted under another yellow. He got fresh tires and he was able to out-brake me. Then later I was on fresher rubber and I was able to overtake him again and we were able to stay ahead. It was really great."
The sister car of Alex Figge, Pierre Ehret and Tafel debutant Harrison Brix took the flag in eleventh place after a more troubled run, but team boss Jim Tafel was still delighted with how the race had panned out.
"What a great way to finish the season,” he said. “We just went out there with the 71 and ran as flawless as possible. We made no mistakes in the pits, ran the proper strategy and we got the result we came here to get. We just kept pushing and that was what I saw from everyone on this team. I am so happy with everyone's effort. The effort of Bell Micro, East Coast Jewelry, Ulysse Nardin. It was absolutely fabulous."