Jeff Westphal was at the much-anticipated Nurburgring 24-hour endurance event in late May, regarded by some as the toughest race in the world due to the long nature of the 15.9-mile road course used through Germany’s Eifel Mountains.
Westphal is one of Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus’s factory pilots in their new GT3 Racing car.
“The team and I have been prepping for this event since August 2015, so to have finished with the success we did is very surreal,” Westphal said. “All that prep and the goal is finally achieved. With that said, the pace over the weekend was very encouraging and the much needed reliability was improved greatly. We did have one hour in the pit box during the 24-hour event, yet that is much better than the early stages of this car’s life span.”
Westphal drove almost half of the total race time in the team and class leading SCG003c #702, where at many points in the race his laps were the fastest overall on the track compared to more than 35 other GT3 cars, most of which had Audi, AMG, BMW, Porsche, or Nissan Factory support and drivers in them.
“The car has come a long way, and is really starting to feel good,” Westphal said. “I mean, it’s always felt good, but I can describe this latest step for us as one in which all of the systems and dynamics of the car are working very efficiently together, so the driving effort pays off with a pace setting speed at times.”
Westphal explains it further.
“In my first stint for example,” Westphal said. “It was two gas tanks worth which we call a double, and at about three hours in length with a wet track on slick tires. I was able to find the one car wide dry line around the 170 corner track and run overall best laps and pull our car from 27th to ninth place overall, while retaining first in class the entire time.”
You can hear the excitement in Westphal’s words as he speaks.
“The Italian team was optimistic at the end with a 26th overall finish (second in class) despite loosing over one hour in the garage to repair a fatigued exhaust,” Westphal said. “With that said, they are planning to re-design the failed part and are looking to continue the progress with SCG003c #702 affectionately known as “Macchina Due.”
Westphal will be at the helm later this year.
Westphal defended and re-set his four-year-old overall time attack track record in the USA at the famed Road Atlanta for GST Motorsports earlier in the month at Global Time Attack round 1, precluding his speed in Europe. Jeff piloted the once street driven GST Subaru Impreza L around the natural terrain road course in 1.20.79, which was more than three seconds quicker than his previous record.
“What we were able to do with this Impreza was really incredible,” Westphal said. “Because I have raced Petit Le Mans here, which is a pro 10-hour race filled with factory built racecars, and our little Subaru went quicker than the GT3 Ferrari I have defended the teams championship with, and was only one second per lap behind the GT2 style cars that are the cream of the GT crop at the moment. For a little tuning shop from a small town in California to achieve this is pretty special.”
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