SPORTSCAR: Rohr Motorsport Atlanta PR

ROHR MOTORSPORT LOOKS TO INCREASE POINTS LEAD With a win in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, followed by a second place in the 12 Hours of Sebring, Jochen Rohr and Andy Pilgrim, drivers of the Rohr Motorsport Porsche 911 Turbo, head into the April 20 ...

ROHR MOTORSPORT LOOKS TO INCREASE POINTS LEAD

With a win in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, followed by a second place in the 12 Hours of Sebring, Jochen Rohr and Andy Pilgrim, drivers of the Rohr Motorsport Porsche 911 Turbo, head into the April 20 Grand Prix of Road Atlanta with an eye toward strengthening their points lead in the Exxon Supreme GTS-1 class. Both Rohr and Pilgrim -- and their race car -- know where to find the Winner's Circle at Road Atlanta. Pilgrim has raced here 14 times since 1985, winning the 1989 SCCA Corvette Challenge race (with the closest victory margin in the series history) and the 1994-95 Stock SportsCar races. Rohr's Porsche won the 1995 SCCA World Challenge race here, driven at the time by Atlanta's David Murry. That car, with minor changes, is the same car Rohr and Pilgrim are racing at Road Atlanta. "Road Atlanta is a very unque track," Pilgrim said. "If you drive it correctly, you develop a rhythm'. "All the turns are medium-to-high speed and you don't have situations where you have to brake from extremely high speeds to extremely slow ones. That's an advantage for a turbocharged car like the Rohr Porsche because you can keep the turbos spooled up and in the power band." Rohr, too, raced at Road Atlanta in 1995. He smiles when he thinks of returning. "Road Atlanta is fun for a driver," he said, "but I still have to make myself feel more confident about the dip' at the end of the back straight. That's quite a sight out the windshield when you're already at top speed. It doesn't un-nerve me, but I need to feel more enthusiastic about it." Rohr said his team is happy that the two longest races of the season are behind them. "To come out of Daytona with a win, and out of Sebring with a trouble-free run to second place, is very unique. Because of the extra points for the long distance races, it is very critical toward our goal of a championship in the GTS-1 class," he said. "We are very aware the Porsche's biggest advantage is its durability over a long run, so we know our plan for the rest of the season has to be consistency. Minimize the problems through superior preparation, and minimize the mistakes in the race. That'll help us win a championship," he added. Rohr came to the U.S. in 1987 from Germany with an assignment to create, own and make a success of the American arm of his family's three-generation business, the Rohr Corporation, one of the world's largest manufacturers of river and lake dredging equipment. He located the American headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio, because of its proximity to one of America's largest rivers, the Ohio, and because of direct airline access to Germany. "But remember," he says, "I was raised only five miles from the Hockenheim race circuit in Germany, and I've always had a fondness for the fine engineering of German cars. When I was able to get the business up and running, I began to race in America, first with the old Firehawk Endurance Championship, then in the Supercar series. But running the business was my first priority." Rohr's Porsche team won the 1995 Drivers and Manufacturers championships in the SCCA World Challenge series, and in 1996, with Pilgrim coming on board, two more wins were scored in that series. Pilgrim, as is well-documented, is highly-regarded throughout the paddock for his virtuoso ability to get the most out of a race car, while still being able to bring it home in one piece. In fact, his record string of SportsCar consecutive race finishes now stands at 91 events -- 394.5 racing hours -- in five different series. The last time he watched a race finish from the sidelines was in 1992. "A good finish is far more important than qualifying on the pole or leading the first hour," Pilgrim says. Pilgrim shares the points lead in two SportsCar series. He and Rohr lead the Exxon Supreme GTS-1 class, and he shares the Stock SportsCar Grand Sports class lead with Jason Priestley in the Triple Caution Racing Ford Mustang Cobra R. "If I have a good car for the final hour of either the Stock SportsCar race with Jason, or the GT race with Jochen, then I'd like to think we have a shot," he added. Given the track record of both teams, that "shot" could be right on target.

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Series IMSA Others
Drivers Andy Pilgrim , David Murry , Jason Priestley