Photo by John Thawley 4.28.07 Danville, VA
Farnbacher Loles drivers Bryce Miller and Dirk Werner earned a hard fought victory in the Virginia International Raceway round of the Grand-Am Rolex GT Series. After starting eighth on the grid, Miller took the opening stint in the #87 Marquis Jet/IPC/Paul Miller Porsche/Recaro Porsche 997 GT3 Cup and masterfully drove his way up to fourth spot, working through the field on a track the team had never seen before. Werner then took over and continued the momentum, showing the skill that has quickly earned the respect of his team and fellow competitors alike. After his last pit stop, Werner battled back and forth with Sylvain Tremblay in the series leading Mazdaspeed RX-8, eventually taking the lead for good. Said Werner after the race, Bryce did an amazing job getting the car up to fourth. The car was perfect and the entire Farnbacher Loles team deserves credit for the hard work they put in to get this win. Added Bryce, Im sorry Leh and Dominik couldnt be on the podium with us, but it is good to get a win for Porsche. Especially this week, after the passing of Bob Snodgrass. This win is dedicated to him and everything he has done for sports car racing in America.
The Farnbacher Loles #85 Shoes For Crews/Recaro Porsche GT3 Cup driven by Leh Keen and Dominik Farnbacher looked to have a podium spot locked up as well. After the last practice session, the crew discovered a broken suspension upright, which needed to be replaced. The repair forced the car to miss qualifying which mandated a start from the rear of the field. Keen started the race and knifed his way through the field with incredible skill and finesse. By lap 10, he had gone from dead last to tenth and was in the top five by the first pit stop. Dominik took over and grabbed the lead at the second pit stop. In the final leg of the race, Dominik was chasing Werner and seemed to have a little more speed as he set the races fastest lap. Unfortunately while pursuing Dirk and running in second place, Dominik got a little loose, put the right side tires off in the grass and a clump of dirt ripped off the bottom of the radiator. As coolant poured from the damaged car, all he could do was pull in the pits as his race was over.
The VIR round was the first of the year where the GT cars run in their own race, without the DP class. All the cars carried stickers in remembrance of the recent Virginia Tech tragedy and that event set a solemn tone for the weekend. The win is Farnbacher Loles first of 2007 and only the second in the Grand-Am Rolex series, following the dramatic 2005 Rolex 24 at Daytona victory. But with the talent on this team, and the great preparation by the crew, it probably wont be the last.