Birmingham: Terry Borcheller race report

thriller It ain't over 'til Terry Borcheller completes his final lap. Never content to settle for second, the Phoenix driver made his move just four turns from the finish to win the Rolex Sports Car Series race at Barber Motorsports Park in ...

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It ain't over 'til Terry Borcheller completes his final lap. Never content to settle for second, the Phoenix driver made his move just four turns from the finish to win the Rolex Sports Car Series race at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala. Borcheller and Forest Barber of Fort Worth, Tex., celebrated their first win the No. 54 Bell Motorsports Chevrolet-powered Doran JE4 Daytona prototype.

Borcheller started second, with a qualifying lap time of one minute 24.728 seconds on the 2.3-mile road course. He took the lead on the first lap and led the first 36 minutes of the two-hour 45-minute race. Barber took the wheel after 45 minutes, starting with a hydroplane spin on the wet track. He recovered quickly and drove a strong stint, handing over to Borcheller for the final stint.

Borcheller made up a lost lap, had a spin of his own, then charged to the front, passing for the lead just four turns from the checkered flag. He set the fastest lap of the race - almost two seconds quicker than the rest of the field.

"I had a great first stint," Borcheller said. "Forest had a huge moment on his out-lap and hydroplaned into the tire wall. But he did a remarkable job recovering from it. He did a phenomenal job and kept us in contention. When I got back in the car, it was working really, really good and I ended up getting the yellows at the right time. I caught JC [France, who had been leading] and passed him four corners from the flag. It was a thriller!"

rain prep

Borcheller was impressed with the performance of his car in the rainy and wet conditions throughout the race weekend.

"Jim [team owner Bell] set the car up really well for the interim conditions and the Goodyear tires were fantastic," he said. "There were puddles around the track and the Goodyears had really good grip. We almost could have run the whole race on one set of tires."

Cup race

Borcheller and Barber also competed in the Grand-Am Cup GS race on May 17, driving the No. 54 Bell Motorsports BMW M3. They started sixth in the GSII class, led for most of the two-hour 30-minute race, then were forced to retire with a gearbox problem. They finished 12th in class.

"Everything was going flawlessly according to plan," Borcheller said. "There were about 20 minutes left when I came in for a splash of fuel. I went to leave the pitbox and the car wouldn't come out of first gear."

heroic effort

Bell Motorsports encountered additional problems when the Grand-Am Cup car's hydraulic jack broke, dropping the car on two mechanics. Shane Knight and Bernie Vanhamond were treated at a local hospital and released at 2 am Sunday. They returned to the track a few hours later and contributed to the team's Rolex Series win.

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