SPEED television coverage of the Utah 250 at Miller Motorsports Park will begin at 5:30pm ET on Saturday, September 19, 2009
Farnbacher Loles Racing placed both of the team’s entries at Miller Motorsport Park inside the Top-10 for Saturday’s Utah 250 Grand-Am Rolex Series race. Due to Miller Motorsport Park’s expansive 4.5 mile road course layout, the #87 Shock Doctor/ Intercity Lines/ PlanetPorsche GT3 Cup driven by Leh Keen of Charleston, SC, and the #86 Farnbacher Loles Racing/Wheel Enhancement GT3 Cup driven by Eric Lux of Jacksonville, FL, were only able to complete five laps in the fifteen minute qualifying session. Once again, the fierce competition of the Grand-Am Rolex Series GT class was seen, as the top-10 qualified cars were separated by less than two and a half seconds, with five different manufacturers represented.
Keen qualified the #87 in forth place with his fast lap of 2:51.195 and an average speed of 94.334 mph but had to battle an oversteering car throughout the qualifying session. Keen will be co-driving the #87 tomorrow with Dirk Werner of Kissenbruck, Germany and together they can possibly clinch both the Grand-Am Rolex Series Driver’s Championship for themselves and the Grand-AM Rolex Series GT Team Championship for Farnbacher Loles Racing.
‘We’ve got to work on the car tomorrow to make it better, it had oversteer right away, even on fresh tires,’ Keen said. ‘It was rough. The track was changing, the car ‘s handling was changing, and all the Mazdas and the #57 look really fast. With the Championship winding down, getting both of us in the car for 30 minutes will be the first priority. But Dirk and I want to win. We’ve said since Montreal that we want another victory, so we’ll do what we can to get the car handling for tomorrow.’
Lux drove the #86 to a seventh place qualifying position on his first hot lap with a time of 2:52.096 and an average speed of 93.840 mph. Unfortunately, a spin immediately following that lap prevented Lux from improving upon his time.
‘Today we struggled with trying to find the right setup,’ Lux said. ‘Without having several sessions that are far enough apart, it is difficult to throw new things at the car. Time is limited so the changes you try during the session are also quite limited. In qualifying, my tires came up to temperature on the 2nd lap, but they heat up so quickly, with the sidewalls folding over, it is very hard to keep the rears under the car. On my second lap we developed oversteer and I had a spin exiting turn 19. After the spin the tires were past their prime. The team works very hard and I’m confident in Lars Giersing and Dave Fullerton’s engineering capabilities. I think tomorrow we will be moving to the front of the field early on.’
Lux will be co-driving tomorrow with Porsche Factory Driver, Wolf Henzler of Nürtingen, Germany.
Farnbacher Loles Team Principal, Gregory Loles, is happy to see both cars solidly qualified. ‘This weekend needs to be a continuation of the professional approach we’ve utilized all year,’ Loles said. ‘That means we capitalize on the positive situations, and we lesson the effect of the negative situations. We didn’t get a lot of time in between the practice rounds to get our Porsches ideal, but Eric and Leh still earned two strong qualifying positions, and I’m comfortable in our strategy and speed for tomorrow’s race.’
The two hour, 45 minute Utah 250 begins on Saturday, September 19 at 5:30pm ET.
- Farnbacher Loles Racing