Mid-Ohio: Terry Borcheller race report

Terry Borcheller returned to familiar territory during the Aug. 27 Rolex Sports Car Series race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. The Gainesville, Ga., driver came from behind to lead the 44-car field -- a position he frequently ...

Terry Borcheller returned to familiar territory during the Aug. 27 Rolex Sports Car Series race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. The Gainesville, Ga., driver came from behind to lead the 44-car field -- a position he frequently enjoyed en route to six professional racing championships. Unfortunately, an unusual pattern of caution periods thwarted the team's race strategy, changing the race lead to a 12th-place finish.

Borcheller started the No. 54 Bell Motorsports/Feeds the Need Pontiac-powered Doran JE4 from 11th on the grid, after an abbreviated qualifying session on the 2.258-mile road course. "We waited in the pits to try to get an opening for a clean lap," he explained. "On my third timed lap, I ended up catching a slower car, and then the session was over after that."

The race start was more positive. Borcheller gained two positions before pitting during an early caution period 30 minutes into the two-hour 45-minute race. He returned to the track 13th in the Daytona Prototype class, 18th overall, then steadily worked through the field to take the lead at 1h54.

Five caution periods had already slowed the race, so the team planned a pitstop during the next. Unfortunately, it didn't occur until 2h26, leaving Borcheller behind the wheel for almost the entire race. With tires and energy fading, he dropped to fifth, then pitted as the caution started. Ralf Kelleners of Dusseldorf, Germany, took over and returned to the track in 14th place. During the final 10 minutes of green-flag racing, he moved up to finish 12th.

"The track was almost blocked, so we figured we could get in and out without losing a lot of track position and lengthen our fuel window," Borcheller said of the first pitstop. "It kind of backfired on us because there ended up being a lot of yellows after that. I had a full tank of fuel, so it didn't make sense to pit, but then it went green forever.

"We led a long time, which is good for TV and my sponsors, K&N Performance Filters and the Bondurant School. I was in there a long time; I was getting fatigued. And the tires -- we ended up doing the whole race on one set! I was racing with [second-place finisher Scott] Pruett when I had 60, 70 laps on the tires, and I did my fastest time on lap 70."

Borcheller will cross the border to drive a Saleen S7R in the American Le Mans Series' only Canadian race, at Mosport International Raceway in Bowmanville, Ont., on Sept. 4.

-tborcheller.com k

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Ralf Kelleners , Terry Borcheller