international triple Terry Borcheller earned points in three series on Aug. 7 and 8, including two races at the same time in two countries. The Gainesville, Ga., driver alternated track sessions all week between Mosport International Raceway in...
Terry Borcheller earned points in three series on Aug. 7 and 8, including two races at the same time in two countries. The Gainesville, Ga., driver alternated track sessions all week between Mosport International Raceway in Bowmanville, Ont., in Canada and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, in the United States.
He competed in a Rolex Sports Car Series race at Mid-Ohio on Saturday evening, Aug. 7, and returned by private air charter to Mosport to drive the first hour of an American Le Mans Series race on Sunday, Aug. 8. He then traveled by helicopter from the track to nearby Peterborough, boarded another private air charter to Cleveland, Ohio (where he cleared U.S. Customs) and flew on to Mansfield, Ohio. A friend had a car waiting for Borcheller to drive to the track, which he reached in time to drive the final minutes of a Grand-Am Cup race.
race 1 - Rolex Series
Forest Barber of Fort Worth, Texas, qualified the No. 54 Bell Motorsports Doran JE4 16th on the 37-car Rolex Sports Car Series grid (15th in the Daytona Prototype class) with a time of one minute 26.228 seconds on the 2.25-mile Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. He started the two-hour 45-minute race and moved up to 14th during his brief stint. Borcheller took over at 19m and charged to 11th before something in the steering system failed, causing the steering to lock. Borcheller spun into a gravel trap, resulting in two pitstops for repairs that cost the team seven laps and two positions. Borcheller and Barber were unable to regain lost ground, and finished 13th in the Daytona Prototype class, 29th overall.
"The Rolex race was a nightmare. I feel bad for the team because they worked so hard to get the car ready. We're not really sorted yet, but it's not for lack of trying," Borcheller said. "Something happened in the steering system that caused it to lock completely. The attitude of the car was very inconsistent, so it was difficult to pinpoint what was wrong. Once we realized it was the steering, the crew fixed it very quickly."
race 2 - ALMS
Borcheller and Johnny Mowlem of London, England continued their string of podiums with a third-place GTS finish at Mosport International Raceway. Mowlem set the pace in qualifying, lapping the 2.459-mile road course in one minute 14.792 seconds to put the No. 63 ACEMCO Motorsports Saleen S7R third on the GTS grid. Borcheller drove the first 57 minutes of the two-hour 45-minute race and held third in class. Mowlem drove the remaining one hour 48 minutes and maintained the podium position, despite an unplanned pitstop to replace a flat left-rear tire.
"To finish third in the Mosport race was great," Borcheller said. "I was very thankful [team owner] Jeff Giangrande had enough understanding to let me do both races because it put me back into contention for the [Grand-Am Cup] championship. I drove my heart out for him - I really wanted to give him a great performance."
race 3 - Grand-Am Cup
Borcheller kept himself in the hunt for the Grand-Am Cup championship with a sixth-place finish at Mid-Ohio. Devon Powell of Port Parry, Ont., qualified the No. 11 Powell Motorsport Cadillac CTS-V on the pole position with a fast lap of one minute 36.478 seconds on the 2.25-mile course. He started the three-hour race and led the first 1h21. John Heinricy of Holly, Mich., drove the second stint and was third when he handed off to Borcheller with just 11 minutes remaining in the race. Borcheller returned to the track in seventh place and moved up one position to finish sixth.
"I believe there was some divine intervention, but the pilots on the plane helped make it happen. When they got oversteer going into Cleveland, I knew we were in good shape! I made it to the track with 18 minutes left in the race," Borcheller related.
"A lot of things went right. The ALMS race had to go green through my entire stint, which it did. Once that happened, we had a helicopter waiting at the top of the hill, then I took a jet from Peterborough through Cleveland to Mansfield. When I got there, my friend John had driven the route six times to find the fastest way from the airport to the track."
At the track, more serendipity. "As soon as the rental car stopped, I was ready to go, in my suit and helmet. If we had to pit under green, we would have been 12th or worse, so I asked [team owner] John Powell if he really wanted me to drive. He said we were there to win a championship and we also are a team, so he called for a driver change. Then we got a yellow [caution period] and I jumped in. I told Devon just to do up my belts and forget about anything else.
"I've always respected them, but I have a newfound respect for the team after this."
Borcheller was worried the race would end under caution and all would be for naught, because he needed one green-flag lap to earn championship points. But the race restarted with three laps to go, he regained one position and finished sixth.
"I had a great race for three laps!" he grinned. "It was the toughest three-lap race I've ever had."
The Mid-Ohio Grand-Am Cup race will be televised on Speed Channel on Sunday, Aug. 15 at noon ET.
Borcheller will drive the No. 54 Bell Motorsports Doran JE4 in a Rolex Sports Car Series race at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, N.Y. on Aug. 13, following qualifying for one of only two NASCAR Nextel Cup road-course races.