SCC: Birmingham: Friday practice report

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (May 16, 2003) -- The Red Bull ...

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (May 16, 2003) -- The Red Bull #58 Porsche-powered FABCAR Daytona Prototype of Brumos Racing led the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series field today during practice sessions for Sunday's Barber 250 at The Park. The Red Bull Daytona Prototype turned a 1:24.348 lap at 98.165 mph around the 2.3-mile road course.

The #48 Mustang of Heritage Motorsports edged out the Mosler Automotive #31 Mosler MT900 R for the quickest lap time in the GTS class. The Mustang turned a 1:27.528 at 94.598 mph, only 0.042 seconds quicker than the Mosler. Ferrari of Washington was in front of the GT class in practice with its 1:27.753 lap at 94.356 mph.

G&W Motorsports Quickest In Grand-Am Cup

The G&W Motorsports #6 Porsche GT3 Cup put together the quickest lap time during Grand Sport practice, while the J Pauley Motorsports #60 Toyota Supra was fastest in the Sport Touring practice today. The G&W Porsche posted a 1:34.544 lap at 87.578 mph to lead the GS I class, while the Bell Motorsports #54 BMW M3 turned the best GS II lap with a 83.386 mph lap at 1:39.297. The J Pauley Supra put together a 1:41.563 lap at 80.731 mph in the ST I class, and the HRPworld.com #42 Acura Integra LS was fastest in ST II with a 76.636 mph lap at 1:48.041.

Drivers Proudly Representing The 205

Birmingham-native Ruben Studdard has made the 205 area code nationally known with his appearance on the television show American Idol. Now 'the 205' is being represented by some local drivers competing in this weekend's Barber 250 at The Park. Drivers John Lewis and Grady Wellingham are racing the #205 Porsche GT3 R of Orbit Racing. Although Ruben will be in Los Angles this weekend preparing for next week's American Idol finale, race fans should not be surprised if they spot some other members of the Studdard clan cheering on the #205 Porsche on Sunday.

Afternoon Practice Cut Short for Doran JE4

The Bell Motorsports #54 Chevy-powered Doran JE4 Daytona Prototype turned the second-fastest time of the day during the morning practice session, but had its afternoon session cut short by ignition failure. Terry Borcheller had only turned four laps before the #54 Daytona Prototype rolled to a halt on course. A crew member reported that the ignition trouble could have been caused by something coming unplugged, but they spent the remainder of the practice session investigating all the possibilities in order to be ready for Saturday practice and qualifying sessions.

Fat and the Furious XXXL Team Makes Debut

The Fat and the Furious XXXL team will make its Grand-Am Cup debut this weekend in Sunday morning's Barber Park 200 Sport Touring race. The team will race its new #59 Dodge Neon SRT-4 in the Sport Touring I class. Team owner Peter Mansolillo explained that their team received two of the very first Dodge Neon SRT-4 production cars. The two new cars were first driven as street cars and garnered a lot of attention from young compact coupe owners.

"One kid once said to me 'aren't you a little old to be doing this' when he saw me out in the new car," said the 44-year-old Mansolillo. "I told him, 'Well you've heard of the Fast and the Furious and XXX, well we are the Fat and the Furious XXXL' and that is how our team name came about."

Unique Sculptures Add To Atmosphere

While beautifully manicured landscaping and state-of-the-art facilities are part of what make Barber Motorsports Park a world-class racetrack, teams and fans can also enjoy some unique artwork when they visit the track. Giant sculptures decorate the park and give a glimpse into builder George Barber's sense of humor. Massive ants carrying a motorcycle and its rider are outside of the open turns, while a gigantic spider sits in the infield and an enormous firefly lights on a rock. Several other unique sculptures add to the fun loving atmosphere at The Park.

Lots of On-Track Action Saturday

Saturday's schedule is packed with plenty of action on the track, beginning with qualifying sessions for SCCS and Fran-Am in the morning. The Rolex Series will hit the track for its final practice before qualifying at 10:10 a.m., and qualifying for the Grand-Am Cup Barber Park Twin 200s will get underway at 11:20 a.m.

The Rolex Series will hold qualifying for Sunday's Barber 250 at The Park at 1 p.m., followed by the SCCS race at 1:45 p.m., Fran-Am race at 3 p.m. and Barber Park 200 Grand Sport race at 4 p.m.

Tickets are currently on sale for the Barber 250 at The Park and Barber Park Twin 200s and can be purchased by calling 800-240-2300 or 205-327-RACE. Tickets are also available online at www.southtix.com.

Additional information on Barber Motorsports Park can be found online at www.barbermotorsports.com. For more information on the Grand-Am Cup Series, visit www.grandamerican.com.

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Terry Borcheller , Peter Mansolillo , John Lewis