Tafel Racing signs Farnbacher to contract extension
Tafel Racing has exercised its option on 2008 American Le Mans Series Driver Championship Runner-up Dominik Farnbacher. The contract extension will return the resident of Ansbach, Germany to the Cumming, Ga.-based organization for a third consecutive season. Entering the October 18 season-finale, Farnbacher has three career American Le Mans Series GT2 class victories; St. Petersburg, Fla., Long Beach, Calif. and Mid-Ohio, eight podiums and two fastest race laps (Mid-Ohio and Road America).
All of his race victories have come in 2008 co-driving the No. 71 Tafel/Bell Micro Racing Ferrari F430 GTC with Dirk Muller (a native of Germany now living in Monaco). Farnbacher will be making his 25th career GT2 start on Saturday in the Monterey Sports Car Championships. 23 of his starts have come behind the wheel of a Tafel Racing entry.
Farnbacher joined Tafel Racing for his first full season of American Le Mans Series competition in 2007. He earned two GT2 class podium finishes, both second- place, at the final two races of the season and added a fifth-place GT2 result at the 12 Hours of Sebring. In 2006, Farnbacher made his American Le Mans Series debut racing twice and earning one Top 10 GT2 finish. The same year he made his only 24 Hours of Le Mans start finishing second after leading into the final hour of the race. 2005 brought Farnbacher his first major endurance race victory at the 24 At Daytona driving for his father's team. Farnbacher, known as "Dom" in the paddock, began his racing career driving karts and then motocross in the 1990s. He moved to formula cars in 2000 and sports cars in 2001. He raced in the highly competitive Porsche Carrera Cup and Porsche Supercup before moving up to GT2 competition in 2005.
Tafel Racing, owned by Jim Tafel (Alpharetta, Ga.) and Technical Director Tony Dowe (Cumming, Ga.), is based in Cumming, Ga. They debuted in the American Le Mans Series in 2007, earning third in the season- long GT2 Team Championship with six combined podium finishes including a third at the 12 Hours of Sebring and second, twice, at the Petit Le Mans and Monterey Sports Car Championships. Prior to joining the American Le Mans Series, Tafel Racing competed for two seasons in the Grand-Am Series' GT class finishing second, fifth and tenth in the 2006 Team Championship combing three cars for five wins and 12 podium finishes. In 2005, Tafel Racing made its professional motorsports debut nearly taking a podium at the 24 At Daytona and finishing fifth in the season GT Team standings. The operation has campaigned primarily a two car effort since its inception. In 2008, Farnbacher and Muller have been joined once in the No. 71 Bell Micro Ferrari by Rob Bell (England) at the 12 Hours of Sebring. The No. 73 Tafel Racing Ferrari F430 GTC entered nine of 11 races with Alex Figge (Denver) joining Tafel behind the wheel at seven events. Pierre Ehret (California/Germany) drove the No. 73 three times while Allan Simonsen (Denmark) and Harrison Brix (San Jose, Calif.) each made one start.
Jim Tafel, Owner: "Dom is a perfect fit for our organization. He is smart and aggressive on the track, laidback and easygoing in the paddock. He is a real asset to Tafel Racing and our marketing partners. I couldn't be happier that we have re-signed Dom for 2009 even before we have taken the final checkered flag for 2008. It shows the continuity and strength of our program and gives us a real leg-up on the 2009 championship."
Tony Dowe, Technical Director: "I'm very happy to have Dom with us again in 2009. This will be our third season together and confirms the talent we saw back in 2005 when we first saw him race. His progression and professional approach to our racing has been everything we could want in a driver. I'm looking forward to seeing him take the next step on the ladder and win the ALMS GT2 championship."
Dominik Farnbacher, Driver, No. 71: "I am excited to be racing with Tafel Racing again next year. It is a great team with great people. I know that I can trust the team in everything they do. Thanks to Tony and Jim for trusting me and giving me the opportunity to drive for them. I will give my best to win the championship for them next year. We want to improve ourselves so this year was a good experience. We can learn from this year and make it better next year." FeedMeSportscars