Borcheller Leads 15 Laps of EMCO Gears Classic Saturday as the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course In Kodak EasyShare DORAN JE4 Pontiac LEXINGTON, Ohio, Aug. 27 - Terry Borcheller drove his heart out and led 15 laps of the EMCO Gears Classic Rolex series...
Borcheller Leads 15 Laps of EMCO Gears Classic Saturday as the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course In Kodak EasyShare DORAN JE4 Pontiac
LEXINGTON, Ohio, Aug. 27 - Terry Borcheller drove his heart out and led 15 laps of the EMCO Gears Classic Rolex series race Saturday night at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in the Kodak EasyShare DORAN JE4 Pontiac No. 54.
The Bell Motorsports/Feeds the Need Racing team chose to pit twice for fuel instead of once in what turned out to be a 94-lap, two-hour-and-45-minute race. Borcheller drove for all but the last 15 minutes, and the Kodak EasyShare DORAN JE4 Pontiac had the same set of Hoosier tires on at the checkered that it had at the start of the race.
The event had five full-course yellows for 26 laps, and all but one of them occurred in the first 47 laps of the race. Although the team got the late-race yellow it was looking for and pitted just when the Kodak EasyShare car was about to run out of fuel, time ran out and Ralf Kelleners took the checkered flag in 12th place.
Still, leading so many laps in the extremely competitive field and running the same or faster lap times than the cars that finished ahead of it showcased how hard everyone on the team has been working.
Borcheller qualified 12th but he was in tenth place by the end of lap two. He stayed in that spot until lap 11, when the Rx.com/Synergy Racing No. 8 that was running right in front of him pitted.
The biggest crash of the race occurred on lap 15 when six cars tangled in turn five. The team decided to bring Borcheller in under that full-course yellow for gas only on lap 17, which dropped the entry back to 18th.
Five of the cars ahead of him were GT cars though, and Borcheller took care of them all on the restart. He passed two Daytona Prototypes on the next lap to vault back to 11th, and he was back in the top 10 by lap 28 with more fuel than anybody else.
When several other top runners made their pit stops under a full-course yellow on lap 36, Borcheller advanced to fourth and then to second for the restart on lap 47. He stayed in second place despite a torrid battle with the CompUSA No. 01, holding that car off lap after lap. The leader, the Krohn Racing/TRG No. 67, then started to smoke heavily and the officials called it in, giving Borcheller the lead on lap 61.
The CompUSA No. 01 was still in hot pursuit, however, and Borcheller was the star of the show as he held off its driver, Scott Pruett, lap after lap, even while threading through lapped traffic.
Pruett finally got by him with a move to the outside on lap 75 for the lead. Other top competitors were close too, and they pushed Borcheller back to fourth shortly thereafter.
Borcheller's work wasn't done, however, as he then held off Max Angelelli in the SunTrust 10, who was in fifth and dogging him mercilessly. Somehow Borcheller kept fourth until lap 90, when Angelelli got by to push Borcheller back to fifth.
The event's last full-course yellow waved on lap 82, and Borcheller finally made his way down pit road under that yellow for fuel and to let Kelleners take over. There were only 15 minutes left in the race at that point, and the pit stop dropped the entry to 14th. Kelleners passed the Spirit of Daytona No. 09 for 13th on lap 89 and everybody moved up one more spot when the New Century Mortgage No. 02 pitted on lap 90, so the Kodak EasyShare team ended up 12th at the end.
Car owner Forest Barber put things in perspective afterwards. "It was wonderful to lead the race, but it was unfortunate the way the pit stop sequence worked out," he said. "Terry did an incredible job through traffic. It was great to have the car up front. Our position doesn't show how hard we all worked."
The race will be televised on a tape-delayed basis at noon ET Sunday on SPEED.
Only four races remain on the 14-race Rolex series schedule for 2005. They are: Sept. 8-10 at Phoenix International Raceway; Sept. 22-24 at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International with the Indy Racing League; Oct. 7-9 at Virginia International Raceway and Dec. 2-4 at Mexico City, Mexico.