VIR: Doran Racing preview

Feeds the Need/Doran Racing Loves VIR LEBANON, Ohio, April 18 - The Virginia Tourism Corp. advertises "Virginia is for Lovers." The Feeds the Need Racing/Doran Racing team and its drivers, Terry Borcheller and Harrison Brix, will take that ...

Feeds the Need/Doran Racing Loves VIR

LEBANON, Ohio, April 18 - The Virginia Tourism Corp. advertises "Virginia is for Lovers." The Feeds the Need Racing/Doran Racing team and its drivers, Terry Borcheller and Harrison Brix, will take that agency's word on that, but they do know they love to race at VIRginia International Raceway (VIR) in Alton.

They'll get their annual chance to do that this weekend when their beautiful yellow-and-black Kodak EasyShare/Amp'd Mobile/SIRIUS DORAN JE4 Ford No. 77 Daytona Prototype goes down pit road and onto VIR's 3.27-mile road course.

Doran Racing is one of the top teams worldwide in endurance sports car racing, and it has an excellent record at VIR. The Lebanon, Ohio-based team has been on the pole and on the podium 50 percent of the time it has competed here.

In the four previous Rolex Series races held here the team qualified on the pole twice (2002 and 2003) in the extremely competitive series. Its best finish here so far is second in 2002, and it also finished on the podium here last year with drivers Fabrizio Gollin and Matteo Bobbi. A stellar record like that proves that the team is one to watch here this weekend.

Borcheller and Brix are big fans of VIR. "It's a great track," said Borcheller, the 2003 Daytona Prototype champion from Vero Beach, Fla. "I like it because it has a lot of different elements. I like the high-speed esses and the elevation changes. The track has a good flow; it has a good rhythm to it. There are some turns that require hard braking, and you need downforce there. Traffic is always fun there with the GT cars too."

Brix agrees. "I absolutely love the track," the Rolex Series rookie from San Jose, Calif. said. "It rewards the driver with both high-speed and low-speed turns. It's like the perfect golf course is to a golfer. It's technical and it's challenging. It's a fantastic facility; they've done a lot of work there and it's a fantastic place.

"I'd like to do the VIR Enduro Rally someday too," Brix added. "It's the only track I've been to that has an enduro rally course."

As much as Borcheller loves VIR, his experiences there have been as up and down as some of the state's famous roller coasters at Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Paramount's Kings Dominion.

"It's been a kind of hot-and-cold race for me in regards to finishes," Borcheller agreed. "Our race at VIR used to be at the end of the year so it was important in the points battle. I lost a championship when I ran out of gas there once. Another time I gained in the championship battle when we won there in 2003. I think I clinched the SRPII championship there one year too [2002].

"So it's really good or really disappointing for me," Borcheller concluded.

Borcheller and Andy Pilgrim won this race in 2003 while driving the Feeds the Need Racing/Bell Motorsports car, which was also a DORAN JE4 designed and built by Doran Designs. Borcheller and Christian Fittipaldi were seventh at VIR in 2004 for that team, but it didn't compete in the VIR race last year.

Since this is his first full season of Rolex Series competition, Brix is just happy that he's raced at this track in the past and doesn't have to learn it from scratch this weekend.

"I've had some success there," he said. "I raced there in Skip Barber, in the GT class, and also in a Daytona Prototype last year with Dyson. I got seventh there last year, which was my first top-10 in a Daytona Prototype, so that was good."

This year's edition of the race will be broadcast live at 1 p.m. Eastern time on Sunday on the SPEED Channel.

Practice for the Daytona Prototype class starts at 9:30 a.m. on Friday. An autograph session is slated for 10:45 a.m. on Saturday followed by 30-minute qualifying races for both the GT and the Daytona Prototype classes at 12:30 p.m. and 1:15 p.m., respectively. The Rolex Series race is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. on Sunday. The distance is 250 miles/77 laps or two hours and 45 minutes, whichever comes first.

Both Borcheller and Feeds the Need's Forest Barber plan to compete in the Grand-Am Cup race at VIR on Saturday in the Blackforest Racing Ford Mustang GT No. 2. It's in the GS class, which has 53 entries in a whopping 96-car field.

At press time there are 26 Daytona Prototypes and 19 GT cars entered for a field of 45 for Sunday's Rolex Series race.

Live timing and scoring of the Rolex Series race is slated for the Internet at grandamerican.com. Doran Racing's Web site is at doranracing.com. Other interesting information can be found at fordracing.com, tborcheller.com, harrisonbrix.com, feedstheneedracing.com and restartcommunications.com.

-dr-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Fabrizio Gollin , Christian Fittipaldi , Andy Pilgrim , Terry Borcheller , Matteo Bobbi , Skip Barber , Forest Barber , Harrison Brix
Teams Williams , Doran Racing