A good day for Porsche and FlatSixes.com and a great day for Farnbacher Loles. FlatSixes.com started the day at Mid-Ohio at the Farnbacher Loles paddock for an interview with Dirk Werner (as part of the FlatSixes.com Great Drivers Series) and ended it watching one of our favorite teams and drivers come from last place to first to take the podium in the GT class at the EMCO Gears Classic at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
This was the second straight win for Leh Keen and Dirk Werner and boosted their stranglehold on both the drivers and team championship lead as the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series passed the halfway mark.
The #87 Farnbacher Loles Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup entry came from last-to-first place Saturday to capture the Acxiom GT class victory in the EMCO Gears Classic at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The victory was the second straight for Leh Keen (Charleston, SC) and Dirk Werner (Germany) and boosted their stranglehold on both the drivers and team championship points lead as the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask N0. 16 passed the halfway point of the season.
Keen started the race dead last, 16th among the GT entries. Keen had broken the Mid-Ohio track GT qualifying record Friday, bit his time was disallowed after the car failed technical inspection – the ride height was too low, the result of a damaged rivet on the under-tray.
“From last to first is pretty cool,” said Keen. “That was our goal – winning the race after starting last – but we would have been happy with a podium finish protecting our points lead. I have to thank my crew for giving me an awesome car. This was a great win for us.”
Keen had broken the Mid-Ohio track GT qualifying record Friday, bit his time was disallowed after the car failed technical inspection – the ride height was too low, the result of a damaged rivet on the under-tray.
“It was very easy for me to bring it home,” said Werner, who led the final 43 laps. “Leh did a great job bringing the car to the front. All I had to do was take care of traffic. It was a perfect day for me. I don’t know what to do to thank the guys (the Farnbacher Loles crew) except to do it (win) again the next race.”
It was the third win for the Werner/Keen Porsche, with the TRG win at Daytona giving Porsche four of the six GT victories. Pontiac and Mazda have won the other two events. For Porsche, it was the 60th Rolex Grand-Am GT victory, and 248th Grand-Am podium finish.
Porsche-Powered Daytona Prototypes
While the three Porsche-Powered Daytona Prototypes failed to reach the podium, all three finished in the top 10 on the lead lap with Porsche works drivers Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas placing fourth in the #12 Verizon Wireless Penske Porsche Riley.
It was a more encouraging day for the Porsche DPs, despite failure to gain the podium. The two Brumos Porsche entries were more competitive than in recent races, and Darren Law (Phoenix, AZ) led laps 27-39 in the #58 Brumos Porsche Riley he shared with David Donohue (Malvern, PA). They finished 10th after running as high as fifth, and only a collision with their sister car dropped them back.
“We still don’t have the power of the V-8s, but the handling is getting better and that is encouraging,“ Law said. “Good strategy put us in position to run at the front, and it was very nice to lead (laps 27-39). Then at the end we got into some fierce traffic and David (Donohue) got bumped, so we finished worst than we should have.”
The #59 Brumos Porsche Riley of JC France (Ormond Beach, FL) and Joao Barbosa (Portugal) finished fifth, just 15 seconds behind the winning #01 Lexus Riley of Scott Pruett (Auburn, CA) and Memo Rojas (Mexico).
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FlatSixes.com’s Great Drivers Series