The rumor mill is in full swing this week with talk of Farnbacher Loles pulling out of the Grand-Am Rolex series and potentially closing their doors completely. Unfortunately, no one at Farnbacher is talking (we've made repeated phone calls), and up until today we hadn't wanted to post anything as our information was gathered solely from various online forums, other motorsport related websites and "off the record" discussions with people close to the situation.
Here's what changed and prompted today's post:
1. An article in Connecticut's New Haven Register alleging that Farnbacher Loles team principal, Gregory Loles, is at the heart of a "potentially massive embezzlement" investigation being conducted on both federal and state levels.
2. Information from within Porsche confirming that Farnbacher Loles has not yet placed orders for any of the 2010 GT3 RSRs (that would run in the ALMS) and a number of their current race cars are for sale (race cars for sale alone isn't unusual, but coupled with no new orders...).
3. Concern over what this potential loss means to the all the good people associated and working for Farnbacher Loles Racing and the downstream impact on Porsche's involvement in the Grand-Am series and ALMS.
Farnbacher Loles and Porsche
Farnbacher Loles is new to North American racing, but not to winning with Porsche. Founded in 2004, team history includes a class win at the Rolex 24 in 2005, GT Team and Driver Championships in 2007 and 2009 along with many other wins, podiums and accomplishments all from behind the wheel of a Porsche race car. Most recently, Farnbacher Loles entered the ALMS, fielding a 997 Porsche RSR, supported by Porsche and factory driver Wolf Henzler .
If, and at this point it still is an if, Farnbacher Loles does pull out, what does it mean to Porsche and Porsche Motorsports? More importantly, where do all the talented drivers, crew and support staff go? If there are fewer and fewer places for Porsche to place factory drivers, will they continue to support the same number?
Our thoughts and support go out to everyone involved and we hope that the team makes an official announcement soon!
[Source: New Haven Register, PCNA, Farnbacher Loles website]