Birmingham: Bell Motorsports qualifying report

Kelleners Qualifies Eighth Saturday at Barber In Kodak EasyShare DORAN JE4 Pontiac No. 54 For Sunday's Porsche 250 Rolex Series Race BIRMINGHAM, Ala., July 30 - When Terry Borcheller gets a chance to make a phone call at Portland International...

Kelleners Qualifies Eighth Saturday at Barber In Kodak EasyShare DORAN JE4 Pontiac No. 54 For Sunday's Porsche 250 Rolex Series Race

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., July 30 - When Terry Borcheller gets a chance to make a phone call at Portland International Raceway sometime tonight he'll find out that one of his Grand American Rolex series teammates, Ralf Kelleners, qualified their car eighth on the grid Saturday at Barber Motorsports Park for Sunday's Porsche 250 presented by Bradley Arant.

Borcheller is competing in another event in Portland, Ore. Saturday but he'll fly all night in order to be at Barber Motorsports Park Sunday to drive the Bell Motorsports/Feeds the Need Racing Kodak EasyShare DORAN JE4 Pontiac No. 54. Borcheller, of Gainesville, Ga., shares the Kodak car with Kelleners, of Dusseldorf, Germany, and Forest Barber of Fort Worth.

Kelleners and the rest of the Bell Motorsports/Feeds the Need Racing team have been working hard on the Kodak EasyShare car's set-up ever since a test day at Barber Motorsports Park on Thursday. Their hard work paid off when Kelleners qualified eighth in the extremely competitive, 46-car field with a time of 1:23.297 (99.403 mph) for the 2.3-mile, 16-turn road course.

"When we came here we definitely have improved due to the work that was done at the shop," Kelleners said. "I was confident that we could run between fifth and eighth in regard to speed. We qualified at the low end of that span because we were confronted with different issues in qualifying today.

"We had a good rear end before [in practice], but now that has changed," he explained. "I don't know if it's the track conditions or not. We had an indication in the session before qualifying that this had changed but we couldn't really tell for sure because we had no new tires on then. Now, being on new tires, we see it has changed. It could be from the rain we had last night; it could be from the humidity; it could be from the different rubber down from the different compounds being used by the different classes racing here this weekend.

"But we're not far off," he concluded. "We're talking 2 or 3 tenths here that we could find. Overall we're pleased."

Sunday's 400-kilometer, 250-mile, 109-lap, two-hour-and-45-minute race will start at noon. It'll be televised on SPEED beginning at 1 p.m. Eastern time Sunday.

-bms-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Ralf Kelleners , Terry Borcheller , Forest Barber