Birmingham: Bell Motorsports race report

Kodak EasyShare DORAN JE4 Pontiac No. 54 Finishes Fifth in Sunday's Porsche 250 Rolex Series Race BIRMINGHAM, Ala., July 31 - Sunday's Porsche 250 Rolex series race at Barber Motorsports Park was a wild and wooly affair held under oppressive...

Kodak EasyShare DORAN JE4 Pontiac No. 54 Finishes Fifth in Sunday's Porsche 250 Rolex Series Race

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., July 31 - Sunday's Porsche 250 Rolex series race at Barber Motorsports Park was a wild and wooly affair held under oppressive heat and humidity and a small shower to boot, but everyone on the Bell Motorsports/Feeds the Need Racing team was smiling at the finish after Ralf Kelleners and Terry Borcheller brought the Kodak EasyShare DORAN JE4 Pontiac No. 54 home in fifth place.

Kelleners, of Dusseldorf, Germany, qualified eighth and drove for the first half of the race before Borcheller, of Gainesville, Ga., played clean-up in the two-hour-and-45-minute, 95-lap race that was televised live on SPEED.

Traffic was tight throughout the race at the beautiful 2.3-mile, 16-turn road course, but neither driver let it faze them.

Kelleners had an excellent stint. He had the Kodak car in fourth place by lap 21, and he was still in that position when he turned it over to Borcheller on lap 36 under a full-course caution.

Kelleners' only real incident occurred when he was hit by the Tuttle Team/SAMAX No. 7 so hard that the door popped open on the Kodak car. "I couldn't get it closed, but luckily then there was a full-course yellow and I could close it," Kelleners said.

Borcheller spun in turn one shortly after he started his stint, dropping back to 19th place on lap 40, but he regrouped and started to climb back up the scoreboard. He was sixth by lap 54, and passed the Spirit of Daytona No. 09 for fifth on lap 65. He got up to fourth on lap 69 after the Rx.com/Synergy Racing No. 8 had trouble, and he stayed in that position for four laps.

After some more hard racing and some more pit stops he was back in ninth for awhile, but once again Borcheller started to advance through the field. With 10 laps to go he was seventh, but he got sixth on lap 91 by passing the New Century Mortgage No. 02 and he got fifth on the very last lap when friend and former teammate Christian Fittipaldi ran out of fuel in the Krohn Racing No. 66 at the very end.

The team hopes to carry the momentum of Sunday's excellent finish to its next race, which will be in just 12 days at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, N.Y.

Driver quotes follow:

Ralf Kelleners: "It was very hot in there. Finally we kept it together and had a good result. It was exactly what our team needed. Hopefully we can keep the momentum going."

"The front end was better. The progress we made with the engine was good too."

"I got hit once by the No. 7 and the door opened and I couldn't get it closed. Luckily then there was a full-course yellow and I could close it."

Terry Borcheller: "It was a fun race."

"I spun in turn one. I didn't have any laps in the car other than the warm-up, and I didn't realize that I couldn't use the warm-up lane to heat up my tires, and I spun. Wayne Taylor and somebody else got bottled up; I went flat in one and just spun out."

"That was my only spin but I can't count all the incidents. Let's look at the car and see if we can count them all; there were so many. Probably everybody hates me after this race."

"I think traffic helped us though. If I didn't know this track so well and if it wasn't for the traffic, I don't think we'd have done as well. The traffic helped us."

"It was a positive race for the team and a positive race for Kodak."

-bms-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Ralf Kelleners , Christian Fittipaldi , Wayne Taylor , Terry Borcheller
Teams Krohn Racing