Daytona III: Rand Racing Friday report

Pacing the practice. Rand Racing posted the fastest SRPII times during Friday practice for the final race in the Rolex Sports Car Series, set for Sunday at Daytona International Speedway. Ralf Kelleners and Niclas Jonsson were quickest in the...

Pacing the practice.

Rand Racing posted the fastest SRPII times during Friday practice for the final race in the Rolex Sports Car Series, set for Sunday at Daytona International Speedway. Ralf Kelleners and Niclas Jonsson were quickest in the No. 7 Nissan Lola, with a lap time of one minute 48.217 seconds on the 3.56-mile infield road course. Their teammates Terry Borcheller and Anthony Lazzaro were second in class in the No. 8 Lola (1:48.793).

Lazzaro said track conditions could be slick for the afternoon race. "Compared to the morning, certainly it's hotter and when it's hotter here the track loses grip," he said. "You're constantly worrying about understeer, oversteer and trying to get a balance with the car, but you also have to realize that most of it's due just to the track conditions."

He also noted changes to the track: "When we came in July, they put curbs in the Bus Stop [turn]. They're not the kind of curbs that you don't go over - you use every bit of them, so it made it a little bit nicer to drive, a little bit faster. The bump on the left-hand side of the exit's a little bit bigger, so we have to watch that now. And there was some new pavement added in turn six going out onto the oval, but the car is pretty much straight by the time we get over it, so you really don't feel that with the race car."

Jonsson acknowledged the team's first goal is to ensure Borcheller completes one lap of the race, thereby winning the SRPII driver championship for himself and the team title for Rand Racing. Once that happens, he and Kelleners will go for the win.

"The plan for this weekend is to try to clinch the championship for our teammate Terry Borcheller and the team," Jonsson explained. "The team has done a great job to put us in this situation. For Ralf and I in the 7 car, we just have to make sure Terry gets that first green lap in. After that, we're going to go racing. We're not going to run into each other, but we're going to get turned loose and Ralf and I will try to win the race for ourselves."

Asian success

Rand Racing's engineer, Jeff Braun, and his family achieved international success recently. Braun's son Colin finished fourth in the Japanese National Karting Championship in Sugo, Japan. Braun engineered the kart, son Travis handled data acquisition and mom Diane managed team operations. Colin will move up to open-wheel car racing in 2003.

-rr/lm-

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Series GRANDAM