Terry Borcheller struggled with an aerodynamic issue caused by newly designed front bodywork on the No. 54 Bell Motorsports/Feeds the Need Pontiac-Doran during a Rolex Sports Car Series race at Watkins Glen International on June 12. It left ...
Terry Borcheller struggled with an aerodynamic issue caused by newly designed front bodywork on the No. 54 Bell Motorsports/Feeds the Need Pontiac-Doran during a Rolex Sports Car Series race at Watkins Glen International on June 12. It left Borcheller, of Gainesville, Ga., and his co-driver Ralf Kelleners of Dusseldorf, Germany, with a significant handling problem during the six-hour race, compounded by weather extremes of heat, humidity and heavy rain.
"There's something happening with the amount of air that's coming against the nose that's causing it to break loose," Borcheller explained. "In the race, it would actually close off the front completely at a specific speed, usually in the esses, and it would pin the front and then the rear would rotate around it, so it was difficult to drive and it was really hard not to get caught out. When we got to top speed after the esses, it was like we were running into a brick wall; it was just closing the air off completely. It made for a very tense six hours."
Kelleners qualified 10th on the 45-car grid with a lap of one minute 47.305 seconds on the 3.4-mile grand prix road course in Watkins Glen, N.Y. He drove the first double stint of the six-hour race and was passing for seventh when contact with another car sent him back to the pits for a new left-rear upright suspension piece. The repair was completed quickly, but the aerodynamic problem then surfaced, which was more difficult to identify and resolve. Kelleners pitted several times, losing 15 laps and dropping to 21st in the Daytona Prototype class. Borcheller took over at 2h5, followed by Kelleners again at 4h19. The pair regained four positions to finish 17th in class.
"I was just very thankful to get out! I was adapting to the car and I was actually having a little bit of fun although it was always tense, I was always hanging on pretty tight. I was very happy to get out when I saw the weather turning," Borcheller admitted.
Borcheller paid tribute to the efforts of the Bell/FTN team:
"I really want to thank Jim Bell, Forest Barber, Bob Metzler and the boys. It was just a real hard race for the team. They deserve a lot of credit and the results didn't show all the hard work that they did. They've worked endlessly since [the last race at] Mont-Tremblant to try to get the car finished, and to make it competitive was a huge feat."
Borcheller offered congratulations to his former co-driver Christian Fittipaldi of Biscayne Bay, Fla., who finished second in the Watkins Glen race. "It was exciting for me to see Christian have a good run. He's still considered a part of our team," Borcheller said.
Borcheller will drive the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M3 in a Grand-Am Cup race at Mosport International Raceway in Bowmanville, Ont., on June 19.