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Porsche team switches to Ferraris for '08
Tafel Racing is heading in a different direction for the 2008 American Le Mans Series season after announcing it will campaign two Ferrari F430 GTs in the highly competitive GT2 class. The move comes following a 2007 season that saw the Cumming, Ga.-based team record six podium finishes and third place in both the drivers and team championships using Porsche power.

But Ferraris record of nine class wins in 12 races, 11 GT2 pole positions and the class manufacturer title, and the driver and team championships with Risi Competizione made team owner Jim Tafel look hard at a switch.

“We spent the majority of the 2007 season in the rear-view mirror of the Ferrari teams,” said Tafel, who also drives for the team. “We took a long hard look at what it would take to get back on a level playing field with teams like Risi Competizione and Petersen Motorsports, and after much soul searching and a very informative visit to Ferrari and Micheletto, who build the cars for Ferrari, we saw that the only way forward was to make the change.”

The team will have at least one of its two Ferraris on the track for the annual American Le Mans Series Winter Test at Sebring International Raceway on January 28-30. Also coming in the near future are announcements regarding drivers and sponsorship plans.

“It’s very hard to change a manufacturer after the success we have had,” said Tony Dowe, team vice president and technical director. “Our sophomore year in the American Le Mans Series will be critical to our future planning. After the enormous effort that we made in 2007, we felt we needed a different foundation from which to move forward. After looking at all of the options it was clear that the move to Ferrari was our best opportunity to win races in 2008. The open communication that we already have with Micheletto has helped to confirm that we have made the right decision to go to the Prancing Horse for 2008.”

The 10th season of the American Le Mans Series begins with the 56th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida.  ALMS PR

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