Birmingham: AIM/Doncaster preview

AIM Autosport will have a hot challenge in the July 22 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series race at Barber Motorsports Park, but the team's pro drivers are ready for the expected high temperature and extreme humidity in Birmingham, Ala. AIM's lead ...

AIM Autosport will have a hot challenge in the July 22 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series race at Barber Motorsports Park, but the team's pro drivers are ready for the expected high temperature and extreme humidity in Birmingham, Ala. AIM's lead driver Mark Wilkins of Toronto and Burt Frisselle of Lynchburg, Va., will share driving duty in the No. 61 Exchange Traded Gold / Barrick Gold Daytona Prototype.

"The heat's a big factor," Frisselle acknowledged. "Mark's been working out a lot; I've been working out a lot. It's a situation where our team has a little bit of an advantage -- we'll be able to truly share the driving duties and have a fresher driver at the end."

Frisselle finished fifth in last year's race on the 2.3-mile Barber road course. He believes the track will suit AIM's Lexus-powered Riley Mk XI car.

"Our car has been good this year on the true, proper road courses, so I'm excited to get off the rovals and get back to doing what we do best," he said. "It's a drivers' track -- in order to be quick, you have to be very precise and very technical. Without traction control, there are a lot of little corners that we'll be coming out of where it will be crucial that we get the car set up so we can get the power down well."

Indy prep

With three races in as many weeks, the AIM crew opted to stay in the U.S. this month, rather than returning to team headquarters north of Toronto. A rented shop in Indianapolis gave them crucial extra hours to prepare between races. The team celebrated Canada Day on July 1, then traveled to Daytona Beach, Fla., for a night race on July 4, then to Indianapolis, across to Newton, Iowa, for another night race on July 13, back to Indianapolis and on to Birmingham this week.

Doncaster return

Doncaster Racing will be back on track in Birmingham after missing last week's race in Iowa. Dave Lacey and Greg Wilkins, both of Toronto, will race the No. 17 MineStar / Tim Hortons Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car in the Rolex Series GT class. Although Barber is home to the Porsche Sport Driving School, Doncaster principal John Lacey noted the Porsche teams won't benefit from any inside knowledge.

"Barber is a wonderful facility -- one of the best -- and that is the reason Porsche moved there. It holds no advantages for the Porsches," he said. "It is a very technical track, smooth with challenging elevations. We can expect hot and humid weather, which will have a negative impact on the drivers. Otherwise, it is business as usual for the Doncaster guys."

-credit: AIM

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Dave Lacey , Greg Wilkins , Mark Wilkins