Watkins Glen: Friday practice report

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (June 20, 2003) -- The ...

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (June 20, 2003) -- The #58 Red Bull Porsche of Brumos Racing led the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series field today during the opening practice sessions for the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen. The Red Bull Daytona Prototype of Brumos Racing turned a 1:49.248 lap at 112.039 mph on Watkins Glen International's 3.4-mile long course, which includes the famous 'boot' portion of the historic track.

"In the Red Bull car, David (Donohue) and I, and Scott (Goodyear) this weekend, have to be smart but we have to be pretty aggressive and go for broke. The way I look at it, this is our pivotal month. If we have a strong June and win a couple of these (races), or hopefully all of them, we'll be close to Hurley (Haywood) and JC (France) in points unless they have some really bad luck. Then maybe we'll be right there. Even assuming they do a decent job, I think we'll still be behind in points but we'll be within striking distance and it's going to come down to the last race or two.

"But we have to have a solid month. It can't be just being consistent. It's got to be being consistent and winning," said Red Bull driver Mike Borkowski, whose victory with Donohue at the Grand American 400 in Fontana two weeks ago moved the duo into second place in the Daytona Prototype driver point standings. "We've got to put the hammer down. We can't loaf through it at all."

Points leaders Haywood and France, who are teaming with last year's Six Hour winner Chris Dyson this weekend, turned a 1:51.194 lap at 110.078 mph, the fifth fastest overall on the day.

"Every time we go out with make some improvements. We had some shock issues that we were working through. We've got a pretty good handle on it. It's pretty bumpy in a couple of places. It's really important for us to control those bumps, and we do that with the shock absorbers. We are making some big strides in that direction, so we are happy," said Haywood.

"This race track favors power, and the GTS cars have a lot of power, which is really important here at The Glen. We are lacking a little bit in the department, but it's a long race so we should be in good shape to run the duration. The endurance with these cars has been phenomenal."

GTS points leader Joao Barbosa will team with Justin Bell in the Mosler Automotive #31 Mosler MT900R this weekend. The pair turned a 110.437 mph lap in 1:50.832 to lead the GTS class today in addition to posting the second fastest time overall.

"This track is very technical. It has a lot of mid-high speed turns and Daytona is really high speed with a lot of braking, so we have to compromise the top speed a little bit for Daytona. While here, we are able to run very well compared to the other cars. I think we have a better advantage here. We are looking forward to this race and not as much for Daytona," remarked Barbosa of The Glen and Daytona International Speedway, which the Rolex Series will race on in the Paul Revere 250, July 3.

The Ferrari of Washington #33 Ferrari 360GT of Cort Wagner and Brent Martini, which currently leads the GT point standings, posted the quickest time in its class today during practice. The defending GT winners of the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen posted a 1:53.145 lap at 108.180 mph.

"We actually aren't as quick as we'd like to be, but the car is good. Overall, its got good balance. We are trying to find a setup to make the tires live. We had tire problems here last year, so we are pretty concerned about that. We are running full stints and trying to get the car to work right over the entire stint and not just go quick for one lap. That is our main focus at the moment. So far, so good. The car is reliable and running good," said Wagner.

"We don't have any power to be quite honest. The Porsches walk away from us in the horsepower department. Our car really needs to make it up in braking and in the corners, which is why we had tire problems, because we load the car harder than any of the other cars do. We need to make it up in the corners. Yeah, it is a horsepower track and that is a concern of ours."

Qualifying for the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen will begin at 12:45 p.m. on Saturday and the green flag will fall on the historic event on Sunday at 10:30 p.m. Tickets are currently on sale for the entire Sahlen's Sports Car Grand Prix event weekend at the gate or online at www.theglen.com.

The Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen will be aired on SPEED Channel this Sunday at 2 p.m. ET. Fans can also follow all of the action from the racetrack live throughout the weekend with Zippo Live Timing & Scoring on www.grandamerican.com free of charge.

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Justin Bell , Joao Barbosa , Chris Dyson , Cort Wagner