short wing Terry Borcheller and ACEMCO Motorsports scored a fourth-place GT1 finish in the April 17 American Le Mans Series race at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga., despite a rule change that significantly altered the aerodynamic balance of the...
Terry Borcheller and ACEMCO Motorsports scored a fourth-place GT1 finish in the April 17 American Le Mans Series race at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga., despite a rule change that significantly altered the aerodynamic balance of the team's No. 63 Saleen S7R. ACEMCO was forced to reduce the size of the car's rear wing when a regulation was reinterpreted by the governing Automobile Club de l'Ouest before the season-opening race in March.
"A week before the 12 Hours of Sebring, the ACO gave a demand to the team to shorten the rear wing six inches because they reinterpreted the rules of how to measure the rear wing. That rule had been in place for more than a year -- all the winter testing in '03 was done with that wing, all the racing in '04 was done with that wing. They allowed us to run the old wing at Sebring because it was such short notice, but we had to implement the new wing by Road Atlanta," Borcheller explained.
"It took the aerodynamic flow on the back of the car into a range that was not mechanically tunable and it changed the aero balance of the car. We didn't have enough downforce in the back the whole weekend. So we had to compromise the setup trying to get mechanical grip in the back, and it made the race a real struggle. During the race, the track lost a lot of grip and that hurt us because we were already lacking downforce. IMSA [the ALMS sanctioning organization] is reviewing the rule change and we're hopeful that we'll get some help."
Borcheller qualified the No. 63 ACEMCO Motorsports Saleen S7R fourth on the GT1 grid with a lap of one minute 18.133 seconds on the 2.54-mile Road Atlanta road course. Although he lost ground to the leaders during the first race stint, he held fourth place until a timely caution flag allowed him to catch up. With perfect strategy, the Saleen ran out of fuel as he neared the pit lane and he was able to coast in for a fuel stop. Johnny Mowlem of London, England, took over after one hour of the two-hour 45-minute race and worked his way to second place before settling back to fourth.
"The qualifying was good. We qualified fourth and it was the fastest the Saleen S7 has ever gone around there," Borcheller said. "We had a lot of new stuff on the car and the only test we had was the race week. We got a lot sorted out in a short time -- that was a pretty impressive effort by the team."
Borcheller will drive the No. 54 Bell Motorsports/Feeds the Need Pontiac-Doran JE4 in a Rolex Sports Car Series race at Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, Calif., on May 1. He'll also drive the No. 33 Unitech Racing Nissan 350Z in a Grand-Am Cup race at the same track on April 30.