Series spotlight - Werner
WERNER: HOPING FOR RESULTS IN SECOND HALF The age-old axiom of first finishing before you can finish first has never sounded truer in the ears of Farnbacher Loles Racing. Performance hasn't been an issue in the first four rounds of the American Le ...
WERNER: HOPING FOR RESULTS IN SECOND HALF
The age-old axiom of first finishing before you can finish first has never sounded truer in the ears of Farnbacher Loles Racing. Performance hasn't been an issue in the first four rounds of the American Le Mans Series season. Results on the other hand have been a bit hard to come by for the team in the midst of its first full season of Series competition.
While a sixth-place standing in the GT2 team championship may not look so shiny on the surface, it's the potential of what Farnbacher Loles could achieve in the final seven rounds of the season that excites Dirk Werner. The first step for Werner and the Farnbacher Loles Porsche 911 GT3 RSR comes at the American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park, just an hour from the team's home base in Danbury, Conn.
Werner and Marc Basseng finished in the top-five at St. Petersburg (a third-place finish) and Long Beach but were on the doorstep of greater successes early on. The Porsche ran second at Sebring at the halfway point before it was hit by the race-leading Ferrari of Risi Competizione's Jaime Melo with the damage retiring both cars. At Salt Lake City, Werner and Basseng came home fourth but were excluded when officials found the Porsche's fuel cell to be too large.
So along with the disappointment comes encouragement that things have the potential - that's the key word - to swing the right way in the second half.
"It's very important not to lean back and think that having good speed in the first half of the season will lead to a good second half," said the 27-year-old Werner. "Everyone is pushing to develop their cars and better themselves. Porsche did a good job of developing the RSR over the winter and they continually bring new stuff to the track at every race. That's the main thing - be prepared. Especially in our case we need to stay motivated and focused even if things don't go so well."
At Lime Rock, Werner will have a new teammate in factory driver Richard Westbrook. The 32-year-old Brit will make his American Le Mans Series debut, and the fresh face (not to mention experience) could help spark a strong second-half run.
"I hope we get some good results in the next races," Werner said. "It would be good for the team and for the drivers. There is a very high level of competition here - there are great drivers and the cars are a lot of fun to drive. With all the manufacturers involved, there is great focus on the Series."
The American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix is race is scheduled for 2:05 p.m. ET on Saturday, July 12 at Lime Rock Park. SPEED will televise the race from noon to 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 13. XM Satellite Radio will air the event live on XM Sports Nation Channel 144. Additional live coverage from American Le Mans Radio and IMSA's Live Timing & Scoring also will be available at americanlemans.com.
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