BMP and a little more

The trucks have been turning laps in anticipation of today's 2:30 p.m. CDT race out on the 2.38-mile, 16-turn Barber Motorsports Park race course. No, they'll not be racing later; it was this morning's rain. The powers that be looked to get a...

The trucks have been turning laps in anticipation of today's 2:30 p.m. CDT race out on the 2.38-mile, 16-turn Barber Motorsports Park race course.

No, they'll not be racing later; it was this morning's rain. The powers that be looked to get a wet track dry.

Beyond heating the track surface it was a great demonstration of what one mass' capabilities are as compared to another.

These guys aren't racing. With speed-limit driving orders, the trucks' drivers aren't allowed to do anything more than put foot moderately on the pedal.

Yet, there's some passing going on, especially when a pickup truck comes up on a flatbed (or 'rollaway' in another vernacular).

Thus, while all are capable of achieving and maintaining an allowed top speed, it's only in a straight line. It's how those machines take a turn that distinguishes one's ability over another.

As compared to others, some can drive well into a turn before having to slow. Coming out of that turn and putting the power to pavement proceeds at different rates, too.

(Look, it's Sunday morning, race day and it's raining. What else are we to talk about?)

(I know, how about a little DP?)

Though familiar in color, it's the shape that tips one off as to the changes the No. 58 Brumos Racing team has made since last racing in Daytona International Speedway's late-June Brumos 250.

Possessing a shorter snout and an apparently larger windscreen (always liked the Brit's version of "front window" a tad better; still haven't gotten used to "bonnet," though) than the previously familiar FABCAR DSC003, the team's new Riley is making its official race debut here.

"Given the expectations we and almost everyone else in the paddock had when we arrived, I'm personally embarrassed by the qualifying," team manager Mike Colucci said Sunday morning of the team's 14th-fast qualification effort and despite a usually necessary new car break-in period.

After picking up the Riley and on the way to BMP, the team stopped for a Mid-Ohio test that Colucci said quickly produced surprisingly fast lap times.

"At the end of the day David (Donohue) ran laps that were close to the pole time" established at June's race.

"We knew then that we made the right move," Colucci said.

When something new this way comes, it means the old has to go.

Such is the case with Brumos Racing's FABCAR chassis, which -- in its current iteration -- will see its last Rolex Series race in the Aug. 11 Crown Royal 250 at Watkins Glen.

The No. 59 Brumos Porsche-Riley is set for a July 11 completion date, whereupon the following week it'll undertake a Miller Motor Sports Park test before trucking it to an Aug. 26 Infineon Raceway debut.

Engaged in 2004 to undertake an analysis of the FABCAR chassis, noted Porsche engineer Norbert Singer would months later produce a list of nearly a dozen changes he felt were needed to make the FABCAR chassis better, "None major; all minor," Singer said, according to Brumos insiders.

Singer, who has produced or helped develop more than his fair share of legendary Porsche race cars like the 917 and the 962, further advocated Brumos devote one car solely to testing and the other to racing.

Such testing is common in the world of factory backed programs; all but impossible in the world of privately-backed teams.

FABCAR owner David Klym -- who under contract with Porsche built the majority of the maker's now-classic 962 race cars -- felt his latest chassis, the FABCAR EVO introduced in late-2005, would put Singer's concerns to rest and put Brumos back on the podium.

It didn't.

"You've got to remember that when Grand American said 'We're going to go racing with a new class of car, who'll help us build it' Dave Klym was the first to hold up his hand," the Brumos source said.

Klym would construct the car on the fly, sometimes changing an already built structure to conform to a revised set of rules.

Klym's a bit bummed by the experience, wishing that he could've put out something that would've better handled the test of time, but vows he'll use the downtime to experiment and produce a better car.

Whether it reappears or not, FABCAR, Brumos and Porsche nonetheless appear in the history books as the first DP to capture an overall race win when the No. 59 of J.C. France and Hurley Haywood took the 2003 season's second race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Sportscar and open-wheel racer Max Papis will be driving Busch Series and Nextel Cup entries at the Aug. 12-14 Watkins Glen weekend.

Papis' rides are coming with well-established series teams that'll give the driver a chance to show his racing skills.

"My goal, though, is to qualify and finish the race," Papis said at BMP this morning. "I want them to understand that I can take care of my cars and bring them back in one piece. There's plenty of time to win in the future."

Presented the opportunity, this writer is quite sure Papis won't race for second place if he's got car enough for first.

On another front: In a major announcement to be made next Friday while Nextel Cup is in Indianapolis for the Brickyard 400, a well-recognized team in the Rolex Series paddock will announce it's going Cup racing, too, in 2007.

In an example of this job's downside, one can learn but not tell a lot.

Nonetheless, it's going to be a jaw-dropper and one in which sportscar fans everywhere will likely take great interest.

-DC Williams, exclusively for

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Max Papis , Hurley Haywood , J.C. Fra
Teams Williams