Watkins Glen II: Race report

Bell Motorsports tops Bully Hill Vineyards 250 WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (August 8, 2003) -- Terry Borcheller and Forest Barber picked up their fourth Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series victory of the season on Friday night, winning the Bully Hill...

Bell Motorsports tops Bully Hill Vineyards 250

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (August 8, 2003) -- Terry Borcheller and Forest Barber picked up their fourth Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series victory of the season on Friday night, winning the Bully Hill Vineyards 250 at Watkins Glen International. Barber's risky decision to start the rain-dampened race on slick tires instead of treaded rain tires proved critical in the Bell Motorsports No. 54 Chevy Doran JE4's win in round nine of the 12-race series.

A steady shower shortly before the start of the race resulted in most of the cars at the front of the grid starting on rain tires. However after a reconnaissance lap before the race, Barber brought the No. 54 Chevy into the pits and asked the team to put on slicks - a decision his co-driver Borcheller questioned at the time but later admitted was the key to their win.

Didier Theys' choice of tires was not as wise and cost the Doran-Lista Racing No. 27 Toyota Doran JE4 a shot at victory in its debut race. Theys built a large lead early in the race. However, during the first caution when most teams pitted for slicks, Theys remained on rain tires in anticipation of more wet weather. But the rain never came and within a few laps the track was dry, forcing Theys to pit under green and lose a lap. The Toyota never regained its lap, but did manage a third-place finish overall.

Points leaders Mike Borkowski and David Donohue were unsuccessful in their quest to repeat their June victory at The Glen. However, the pair's second-place finish in the Brumos Racing No. 58 Red Bull Porsche Daytona Prototype was enough to maintain their points lead by the narrowest of margins - one point over Borcheller.

Ferrari of Washington drivers Cort Wagner and Brent Martini picked up their fifth GT class win of the season, as well a $4,000 bonus in the Acxiom Grand Touring Challenge. Although the drivers of the No. 33 Ferrari 360 GT had an early battle with points rivals Marcus Motorsports, a halfshaft problem sent the No. 69 BMW M3 behind the wall for repairs. The Stevenson Motorsports/Auto Assets No. 39 Porsche GT3 RS led briefly before slipping to second place in class.

Rick Carelli and John Metcalf picked up their first Rolex Series GTS win in the Team Re/Max Racing No. 05 Corvette on Friday night. The duo took a three-lap victory over the second-place Gunnar Racing No. 6 Porsche GT1 of Gunnar Jeannette, Kyle Petty and Paul Newman. The Porsche was able to take second in the class despite a spin by Newman that sent the car into The Glen's foam walls and brought out a caution. The team was able to repair the car and get it back on course before the track went back to green flag conditions.

Petty was the only guest NASCAR driver to earn a spot on the podium. Robby Gordon finished fifth in the Daytona Prototypes class in the Cegwa Sport No. 3 Toyota, and Geoffrey Bodine took seventh in the class in the G&W Motorsports No. 8 BMW.

The Bully Hill Vineyards 250 will be broadcast on SPEED Channel on Sunday, August 10 at 5 p.m. ET.

The Rolex Series will return to action on September 19-21 in Quebec, Canada at the 6 Heures du Circuit Mont-Tremblant. Tickets are currently on sale for the event and can be purchased online at www.lecircuit.com. Additional information on the Rolex Series can be found at www.grandamerican.com.

FOREST BARBER, #54 Fikse / Goodyear Chevrolet Doran -- 1st Place Overall -- "I think we had a great run overall Terry was unbelievable and brought home an exciting win for us. The championship is in one of the most important parts of the season to us right now, and I think that we are down about one point and that is extremely exciting for us. Engineer, Jim Bell just hit the set-up and to keep the car where it was all race was just a really good race for us."

MIKE BORKOWSKI, #58 Red Bull / Goodyear Porsche FABCAR -- 2nd Place Overall -- I'd say the race went fairly well--they did an excellent job all weekend and we were pretty consistent. We just didn't have enough steam to keep up with Doran. We knew they would be the team to beat and Terry just had more control of the race then we did. Our RedBull guys did a great job as did the whole Brumos Team!"

BRENT MARTINI, #33 Ferrari of Washington / Girard Perregaux / Market Scan / Peris Companies / Tubi Style Ferrari 360GT -- 1st Place GT Class -- "We always love coming to Watkins Glen because it has so much history. We were here for the Six Hour and we came up just a couple seconds short. Cort, I and the whole GP team, Ferrari of Washington, are delighted to get back here and get a first place. With all the tricky conditions it's just nice to have the car home in one piece. To get back to the podium, and first place is just an extra bonus for us."

JOHN METCALF, #05 Re/Max Corvette -- 1st Place GTS -- "The whole Re/Max organization is behind us on this deal and I just want to thank them. Rick Carelli started out the race and was actually running third when we came in for the driver change. He got us to where we needed to be. I just kind of hung on there at the end. It started getting dark and I was having trouble judging the corners without much lighting. I've never really road raced in the dark before. It was a real experience for me. I just have to thank the whole Re/Max team. They did a heck of a job preparing the car."

-garra-

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Series Grand-Am
Drivers Geoffrey Bodine , Kyle Petty , Didier Theys , Terry Borcheller , David Donohue , Paul Newman , Rick Carelli , Gunnar Jeannette , Mike Borkowski , John Metcalf , Brent Martini , Forest Barber , Cort Wagner