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Jun 30, 2014 - 07:03 AM
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Team Seattle-The Heart Of Racing Finished 16th In Gtd At Watkins Glen
Posted by: newsla on Jun 30, 2014 - 07:00 AM
Team Seattle-The Heart Of Racing Finished 16th In Gtd At Watkins Glen

It was a tough day for Team Seattle-The Heart of Racing at Watkins Glen International today. The team finished 16th in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship GTD Class in the Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen.


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Ian James (Phoenix, Ariz.) started ninth in the No. 23 Team Seattle Porsche 911 GT America and drove a consistent first stint. On lap 35, James brought the No. 23 Alex-Job racing Porsche to pit lane for the team's first pit stop of the day, which included a driver change, tires and fuel.

Now behind the wheel of the No. 23 machine, Mario Farnbacher Ansbach, Germany) was in sixth place after all the pit stops cycled through. An hour and a half into the race (lap 50), Farnbacher reported an alarm in the car. The team had the young German bring the car to pit lane to assess the problem. The team thought it might be an alternator issue.

After diagnosing the problem, Farnbacher returned to the track three laps down in 15th place. Three laps later, Farnbacher was back on pit lane to look at the issue again and that's when the race's first full course caution came out. When the race went green, Farnbacher was five laps back and still in contention with nearly four hours remaining. In fact, the team got one lap back (four laps down) on the GTD class wave around just prior to the green.

On lap 68, Farnbacher made contact with the No. 30 in Turn One. The damage to the No. 23 was severe enough the team had him take it back to the garage for repairs. The team fixed the steering rack and changed the alternator.

"When I took the car from Ian [James], everything was fine," Farnbacher said. "Twenty to 25 minutes into my stint, I got an alarm on my dash. It was a low battery. I asked the guys what I should do. They said, 'keep going.' The car wouldn't accelerate anymore because of the low battery, so I couldn't shift anymore. I lost power steering. I got the car back to the pits and they tried to fix it. It didn't work. So, we tried again and it didn't work again. I came back in again and we put in a spare battery and it worked.

"I was behind Kuba Giermaziak. I was faster than him. I tried it [to pass him] for two laps. At the start/finish, I was alongside his door into Turn One. He closed the door. He spun because I hit him. We had to repair the damage.

"It's a bit frustrating. It's bad for the Championship. I'm sorry for the crew guys too."

On lap 132, James got back in the car for the the final hour and 45 minutes. With less than 25 minutes remaining, Team Seattle's day ended when James was hit by the No. 08 Prototype Challenge car sending James' Porsche nose first into the Turn 13 tire barrier.

"I'm fine," James said after hitting the tire wall. "It's just disappointing. We were laps down and I was trying to let everybody through. In that corner [Turn 13], you can't go through two abreast. He [Alex Tagliani] just stuffed it in there at the last minute. I didn't even see him to be honest. I let the Viper through. I am just disappointed in his [Tagliani] judgment there.

"It was a tough day. Things just didn't go our way. Some weekends are like that in racing. But, that's okay. We'll come back stronger at Mosport that's for sure. We're still in the [Championship] hunt. It's still a long season to go."

Alex Job, team owner, had his crew working all race.

"A tough day with the Team Seattle-Heart of Racing Porsche," Job said. "We had the mechanical issue and then two separate incidents of contact, some self-inflicted and some we were a victim. We will put the car back together and head to Mosport with a lot of motivation."

The TUDOR Championship next heads north of the border July 11-13 for the Mobil 1 Sportscar Grand Prix presented by Hawk Performance at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.

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