Bobbi and Gollin Finish 10th at Barber Motorsports Park In Crown Royal Special Reserve DORAN JE4 Ford No. 77 BIRMINGHAM, Ala., July 31 - Doran Racing's Crown Royal Special Reserve DORAN JE4 Ford No. 77 driven by Matteo Bobbi and Fabrizio Gollin...
Bobbi and Gollin Finish 10th at Barber Motorsports Park In Crown Royal Special Reserve DORAN JE4 Ford No. 77
BIRMINGHAM, Ala., July 31 - Doran Racing's Crown Royal Special Reserve DORAN JE4 Ford No. 77 driven by Matteo Bobbi and Fabrizio Gollin finished 10th in the Porsche 250 Rolex series race at Barber Motorsports Park, but if one counted the challenges the team overcame here this weekend it wasn't just a solid top-10 finish but an outright victory.
Bobbi qualified fourth but then crashed in Saturday's qualifying session, and the Doran Racing team did an outstanding job just to get the car repaired in time to race in Sunday's 95-lap, two-hour-and-45-minute race.
Everyone was dealing with extremely hot and humid weather, and Bobbi had a sore neck after hitting the frontstretch wall on Saturday. He drove the first stint and had the car as high as third on lap 11. Team owner Kevin Doran brought the car in for a pit stop under yellow shortly after that, thinking that it might help their fuel strategy as the event progressed.
Bobbi was back up to fourth by lap 36 and he was in fifth place when he turned the car over to Gollin on lap 43 under another full-course caution.
Gollin steadily moved up through the field too, and he was seventh by lap 58 and sixth by lap 66.
Right before another full-course caution on lap 68 the No. 99 Pontiac hit Gollin and ran him off the track in turn five. Gollin made a wide sweeping maneuver and returned to the fray, but now he was back in 10th again. The No. 99 car was given a one-minute penalty for avoidable contact.
Gollin got back as high as fifth by lap 75 but then he had a tussle with the 02 car which caused a flat tire and a subsequent pit stop. That dropped him back to 12th, and he was 10th when time ran out on lap 95.
Jerry Woods, a mechanic and tire changer for the team, perhaps explained the day best when he described the appearance of the car's Hoosier tires when Gollin came in to get the flat tire changed.
"The right front tire was totally green, and we figure that was from the 02 car," he said. "The right rear was yellow, so we figure that was from the 6 car. The left rear was all red, so we figure that was from the 01 car. The left front was OK; we didn't change it."
The race was televised live on SPEED.
Driver quotes follow:
Matteo Bobbi: "The engine was good. The team did a very good job to get the car ready after the crash yesterday. We bent something in the crash though, as the car was not straight. We both did the best we could.
"We had a puncture at the end. It was a clean race for me though."
Fabrizio Gollin: "The 99 pushed me off, and the 02 gave us the flat tire. But it was a good race. It was a good fight."