Grand AM »

Grand-Am: Steady #73 survives Tafel rollercoaster.


The Rolex 24 at Daytona proved to be something of an emotional rollercoaster for the Tafel Racing team, which had to be content with sixth in the GT class after its two more fancied cars lost time to technical problems.

In the end, it was the #73 Red Bull/One and Only Resorts Porsche crewed by Dieter Quester, Philipp Peter, Lars Eric Nielsen and Brent Martini that carried Tafel honours to the flag, the #72 and #74 cars, which had started so brightly, being consigned to the role of also-rans. Not that the #73 got away unscathed, however. Starting eighth, the car suffered early contact with a DP entry which resulted in enough bodywork damage that it required additional pit-stops to correct.

“It's been a long 24 hours since our exhaust got hit in hour two as well as our left rear wheel," Martini admitted, "However, with all of the elements that were thrown at us, the guys in the pits did an amazing job of figuring out all of the right things to do and made all of the right choices. We were always on the right tyres at the right time, and we were in the pits at the right time. They were masterful.”

The #74 Rembrandt Charms car made a very strong start to event, with Wolf Henzler and Dominik Farnbacher maintaining the class lead through both of their marathon stints. Late in the evening, however, the car ran into mechanical problems when a shock absorber broke and caused subsequent suspension problems, requiring a lengthy stop and dropping the car down the order. The time and ground lost made it more difficult to improve position through the remainder of the race, despite strong lap times featuring throughout the spirited fightback.

“We had a problem after about seven hours, which lost us one hour," Henzler confirmed, "That was difficult, but we did not stop fighting and all the drivers - Dominik, Jim [Tafel], Eric [Lux] and me - fought all the way. It was not an easy race with the rain and then drying track, which happened several times, but we all tried very hard and never gave up. The guys did a very good job on the pit-stops, so it was a shame about the problems we had during the race.”

Things did not work out for the #72 North-South entry either. Although Scotsman Robin Liddell qualified 13th and went on to drive a powerful first stint which had the car as high as second at one point, mechanical issues again got in the way. The car went behind the wall near midnight with a gearbox problem, which caused the team to lose considerable track time and, although the car ran well after the repair was made, the remainder of the race was spent fighting to make up the lost laps.

“I'd like to hope we could chalk this one down as a dress rehearsal for further endurance races in the year," Liddell sighed, "You could say we did a great job and were just unlucky, but I prefer to look at it a bit more critically and think about where you could have been better, or done things differently.”


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Max Angelelli / Jordan Taylor. GRAND-AM Championship Weekend Presented by BMW at Lime Rock Park. 2013 Grand AM Rolex Sports Car Series
Max Angelelli / Jordan Taylor. Continental Tire Sports Car Festival. Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. 2013 Grand AM Rolex Sports Car Series
Action. VisitFlorida.com Sports Car 250 at Road America. Grand AM Rolex Sports Car Series [Pic credit: Grand AM]
Starworks Motorsport BMW/Riley duo Brendon Hartley and Scott Mayer celebrate their first Grand AM Rolex Sports Car Series victory at Road America [Pic credit: Grand AM]
Max Angelelli and Jordan Taylor drive the #10 Velocity Worldwide Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette Daytona Prototype to victory Saturday, April 6, 2013 in the third race of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo by Brian Cleary for Chevrolet)
Max Angelelli and Jordan Taylor drive the #10 Velocity Worldwide Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette Daytona Prototype (left) to victory Saturday, April 6, 2013 in the third race of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. Alex Gurney and Jo Fogarty, drivers of the #99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Corvette DP (right) finish in second place. (Photo by Brian Cleary for Chevrolet)
John Edwards and Robin Liddell, drivers of the # 57 Stevenson Motorsports Camaro GT.R., race to victory Saturday, April 6, 2013 in the Grand Touring (GT) class of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo by Brian Cleary for Chevrolet)
Juan Pablo Montoya, Memo Rojas, Scott Pruett and Charlie Kimball, co-drivers of the #01 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates TELMEX/Target Ford BMW Riley celebrate their win in victory lane at the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway on January 27, 2013 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Rolex Series action [Pic credit: Grand-Am]
Alex Popow and Sebastian Bourdais, drivers of the #2 Ford Riley, celebrate in Victory Lane after wininng the Grand-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Inaugural Brickyard Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2012, in Indianapolis, Ind. (Photo Credit: Tyler Barrick/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Alex Popow and Sebastien Bourdais, drivers of the #2 Soloson Ford Riley, celebrate after winning the Grand-AM Rolex Sports Car Series inaugural Brickyard Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2012, in Indianapolis, Ind. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR)
The winning #60 Michael Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian Ford Riley car is brought into victory lane after a gruelling 50th anniversary Rolex 24 at Daytona. [Picture Credit: Daytona International Speedway]
Action Express win the Rolex 24 [Pic credit: Grand Am]
Derek Johnston [Pic credit: Grand Am]
Spencer Pumpelly - TRG Porsche [Pic credit: Grand Am]
Borcheller/Barbosa - Action Express Racing Porsche Riley [Pic credit: Grand Am Media]
Vic Elford, the 2010 Rolex 24 At Daytona Grand Marshal (Photo credit: Motorsports Images and Archives)
The No. 09 Spirit of Daytona Porsche Coyote that will be tested by 2009 Radical European Masters Champion Derek Johnston at Virginia International Raceway

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.