record pole Rand Racing qualified first and second in the SRPII class for Sunday's Rolex Sports Car Series race at Watkins Glen International. Terry Borcheller drove the No. 8 Nissan Lola to the class pole position in one minute 45.328 seconds,...
Rand Racing qualified first and second in the SRPII class for Sunday's Rolex Sports Car Series race at Watkins Glen International. Terry Borcheller drove the No. 8 Nissan Lola to the class pole position in one minute 45.328 seconds, more than three seconds faster than the previous class record on the 3.4-mile New York road course. Niclas Jönsson qualified second in class in the No. 7 Lola (1:46.762). Borcheller will drive with Anthony Lazzaro and Ralf Kelleners on Sunday; Jönsson's co-drivers are Marino Franchitti and Bill Rand.
Borcheller credited the Risi Competizione crew, which prepares the cars for Rand Racing, and his co-drivers. "I haven't ever experienced anything like what we've got in this group of people. Hats off to the guys!" he said. "Anthony and Ralf and I have different driving styles - Ralf's a little more aggressive into the corners, I'm a little more aggressive out and Anthony's the epitome of smooth. But once we discern the differences, we're able to continually get the car to progress."
Jönsson is a rookie at Watkins Glen, so he was happy to qualify so close to Borcheller, especially with "two big mistakes" in his fast lap. "It feels good, the first time I qualified the car for the Rand/Risi team," he said. "I've never been to The Glen before and we just had two hours of practice among three drivers, so we haven't had a lot of time to get familiar with the track. But I'm happy we qualified second behind our teammates. They have a lot of experience here and they've been very helpful to us with our car setup."
set to race
Watkins Glen is a unique track that challenges both drivers and crews. Rand Racing's chief engineer, Jeff Braun, says shock absorbers are the key to car setup.
"It's a good combination - it's bumpy, it's high-speed, there are slow corners, there are some long straightaways, so it's a lot of fun," he said. "The bumps are at the exit of the corners where you're trying to get the power down. We've seen some cases in the data where the rear wheels are coming off the ground and we're ending up with lots of wheel spin from the bumps. You have to have a good stiff car to be real stable but that hurts you in the bumps, so it's a hard combination to get the car nice and smooth in the bumps but not so rolly in the corners. Tire pressures help a bit, but it's mostly shocks."