Patrick Long, Ian James Join Tafel Racing Porsche factory driver Patrick Long and sportscar star Ian James will join the Tafel Racing effort for the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) season opener Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring to be run on March 17th.
Long, a seasoned Porsche driver with a share of the last two GT2 ALMS championships, will join Tafel regulars Wolf Henzler and Robin Liddell in the No. 72 Trafel Racing Porsche 997 RSR for the once around the clock classic in three weeks. The young California native has recorded nine wins in the ALMS series, including one at the 12 hours.
“I am excited to join the Tafel guys at Sebring,” Long said. “Jim and Tony have brought the team along way in a short time. I know Tony from racing against him the past couple of years and it will be a good experience to work with him at the 12-hour. Wolf and Robin are tremendous competitors and both very fast. I think we will get along great, which is vital to having success in an endurance event. The overall objective is to maximize points for their run for the championship. I know we all want to beat the Ferrari cars. I am looking forward to helping support the start of their championship run.”
Ian James will share driving duties in the No. 71 Tafel Porsche with Jim Tafel and Dominik Farnbacher. James has a history with Tafel Racing having joined them for the Rolex 24 hour. He will also be going for his third win at the historic Florida road course.
“I have won the P2 class two times at Sebring, so I will be going for a third class win,” James explained. “This will be my second year with Tafel and it really feels like home. They have great personnel with a British contingent that are all good guys. I first worked with Tony in 2004, we have become good friends and I really respect the way he runs a program. Jim is one of the real good guys in racing and offers a top-notch program, I am proud to have my name on the team roster. I am also looking forward to driving the new Porsche, it looks and sounds like it is the ticket, lets see!”
“Whenever you can get two guys like Patrick and Ian who have the pedigree they bring in your cars it is only positive for the team,” Tony Dowe, team technical director, explains. “Both have won many races in the Porsche and they should fit in seamlessly with our existing driver lineup. Patrick and Ian get behind the wheel and do the job, I think they will be a nice compliment to our effort at Sebring and we look forward to their input.”