Driver's Vacation Photos to Grace Sides of Car in Food City 250 at PIR Saturday, April 10
FORT WORTH, April 2 - Most people who go to Florida for Spring Break come back with vacation photos to share with their family and friends.
Thanks to the Kodak EasyShare system it's easy to share those memories via e-mail, printing them out with a computer and printer, using MMC/SD-compatible devices such as PDAs, DVD players and cell phones, or by using Kodak Picture Maker kiosks in stores everywhere. Photos and videos can even be displayed on a television with the Kodak EasyShare system.
Hardly anyone can have his or her vacation shots actually broadcast on TV, however, but the Kodak EasyShare race car drivers can.
Forest Barber plans to share at least one of his Spring Break photos with everyone who watches SPEED Channel's coverage of the Food City 250 Grand American Rolex Series race at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) on Saturday night, April 10 at 9 p.m. Eastern time.
That's because the photo will be displayed in the LCD screens of the Kodak EasyShare camera decals that grace the sides of Bell Motorsports' Kodak EasyShare DORAN JE4 Pontiac #54 that Barber and Terry Borcheller will drive in the race.
"After the Homestead race, we met with some friends of ours and did the Disney attractions in Orlando," said Barber, of Fort Worth. "There were three parents and five little girls, and we had a ball."
They had so much fun that Barber chose one of those Spring Break photos to highlight on his race car for the upcoming race at PIR.
Barber has been doing more than just vacationing in Florida between races, though. He and Borcheller participated in a one-day private test at Homestead after they finished sixth in the Grand Prix of Miami on Feb. 28 and won this year's Rolex 24 at Daytona on Feb. 1.
"We tested at Homestead on March 24," Barber noted. "Terry and I were driving, and working on car set-up and data acquisition/analysis.
"We made a lot of progress, and Terry set times comparable to the qualifying records set at the last race," he added.
Testing is always time well spent but the site of this test was also important, since the series will return to Homestead Sept. 10-12. Homestead is also close to Bell Motorsports' headquarters in Miami.
Right now all the attention is on Phoenix International Raceway, however, where the team finished fourth in the Daytona Prototype class and eighth overall in 2003.
"It's an extremely challenging track," Barber noted. "It's small, and traffic is a huge issue. The drivers never get a chance to rest. The banking is almost flat as far as the oval goes, so finding the right set-up is challenging for the engineers and the drivers.
"Finding traction there is difficult too because it's dusty," Barber continued, "and your vision isn't very good in the infield either. It's just a very tough track."
Barber said the weather could be a factor too. "It's been unseasonably hot there so far this spring, and it could rain for the race," he noted.
Borcheller lived in Arizona until last year when he moved to Gainesville, Ga., but Barber has no particular ties to the region.
"I think Terry and I are going to hook up with Didier Theys and hike the trails on Camelback Mountain with him," Barber said. "That seems to work pretty well for him."
Theys, who drives the Doran-Lista DORAN JE4 Lexus #27, lives in Scottsdale and hikes those trails as part of his training regimen.
Barber and Borcheller are currently half of a four-way tie for second place in the current Daytona Prototype driver point standings, while Bell Motorsports is second in the team driver standings.
"It's exciting to be in second pace in points," Barber said. "We'll just try to build on that through the rest of the season."
The tentative weekend schedule shows the team practicing from 3:40 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. and again from 7:55 p.m. until 8:55 p.m. on Thursday, April 8. Another hour-long practice session is slated for 2:05 p.m. on Friday, April 9 prior to qualifying at 4:25 p.m. that day.
On race day, Saturday, April 10, there is a warm-up practice session at 12:15 p.m. and an autograph session at 1 p.m. before the 250-mile/166-lap/2-hour-and 45-minute race begins at 6 p.m. local time.
For more information see www.kodak.com, www.phoenixraceway.com and www.grandamerican.com.