Tafel Racing to Switch to Ferrari, Dumps Porsche

Illustration for article titled Tafel Racing to Switch to Ferrari, Dumps Porsche

Fans of the American LeMans Series are going to be seeing a lot more Ferrari next year as Tafel Racing ditches Porsche for a pair of Ferrari F430 GT's (as seen above). According to team owner Jim Tafel, they were not pleased that they "spent the majority of the 2007 season in the rear-view mirror of the Ferrari teams." Of course, switching cars isn't a guarantee for victory, but with the manufacturers title, nine class wins and 11 pole positions out of 12 races &mdash it's not a bad strategy. Press release below the jump:

Cumming, Georgia — Tafel Racing announced today that it will campaign two Ferrari F-430 GT cars in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) for 2008.

In the team's freshman year in the ALMS GT2 series they amassed a record of six podium finishes resulting in third place in both the drivers and team championships.


"We spent the majority of the 2007 season in the rear-view mirror of the Ferrari teams," Jim Tafel, team owner said. "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.

In 2007 the Ferrari F-430 won a staggering nine out of 12 races in the ALMS, which included 12 out of a possible12 pole positions on their way to the drivers and team championships.

"It's very hard to change a manufacturer after the success we have had in both the ALMS and the Grand-Am series'," Tony Dowe, team vice president and technical director said. "Our sophomore year in the ALMS will be critical to our future planning. After the enormous effort that we made in 2007, which included six podiums and third in both the driver and team championships, 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 team will have at least one of their two cars on the track for the Sebring open test January 28-30. The team will announce 2008 driver and sponsorship plans in the near future.


(h/t JTS)[Source: Tafel Racing]

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It had been rumoured for a while on various sportscar sites. However, this switch won't necessarily make them more competitive. Petersen/White Lightning had huge issues after doing the same this year and weren't on the same pace as the quasi-factory Risi F430 GTs.