The Bell Motorsports Chevrolet-powered Doran of Terry Borcheller and Forest Barber survived early contact with the Red Bull-sponsored Brumos Porsche of David Donohue to win the Grand American Road Racing Association Rolex Sports Car Series finale...
The Bell Motorsports Chevrolet-powered Doran of Terry Borcheller and Forest Barber survived early contact with the Red Bull-sponsored Brumos Porsche of David Donohue to win the Grand American Road Racing Association Rolex Sports Car Series finale at Daytona International Speedway.
The team's sixth win of the season also allowed Borcheller to add the inaugural Daytona Prototype drivers' championship to a resume that already includes the 2002 Grand Am SRPII title, the 2001 American Le Mans Series GTS title, and the 2000 Grand Am GTO class title, among others.
"It was a lot of fun out there today," Borcheller said. "I am ecstatic to be the first Daytona Prototype champion.
"I did not anticipate winning the race today. I just wanted to stay behind the highest position Brumos car, but at the same time, I didn't want to focus on that. I wanted to focus on the way we've been racing all year because that's what has worked for us. A little bit more conservative than normal, but that was the plan. I'm surprised [we won] because I did drive conservatively."
In fact, Borcheller was also a little surprised to find himself in a position to win the championship this year.
"We came into the season with a car that needed development and a driver that needed development in Forest. We were going to try to win the Grand-Am Cup championship and we were going to hope for a podium in the Daytona Prototype. Our goal with the Daytona Prototype was to get Forest some more seat time and experience. We were thinking that we'd go for the championship next season, if he was ready for it."
"For our first year in this new series -- in a Prototype -- it's a huge deal for the whole team and for me in particular," added Barber, a former powerboat racer. "Being involved in this kind of racing is really exciting for me. At the beginning of the year, I really believed, with Terry and with the right elements together, that we could possibly win a championship. I was optimistic about it. However, it's even better than I thought. I really didn't expect it to happen, but thought it might and here we are."
The pole sitting Toyota-powered Doran Lista Racing entry of Didier Theys and Bill Auberlen finished second, but not before Theys and Donohue, who entered the race three points behind Borcheller in the drivers' championship, engaged in some spirited door-handle to door-handle racing in the waning laps that saw both drivers repeatedly slam into one another with reckless abandon. Donohue and co-driver Mike Borkowski had to settle for the final spot on the podium.
In GTS, the class leading Sky Blue Racing Ford Mustang of Eric Curran, Stu Hayner, and Woodson Duncan ran out of gas on the last lap, handing the win to second-generation drivers Justin Bell and Simon Gregg in the Derhaag Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette. The Mustang trio held on for second, finishing 28.388 seconds ahead of the Team Re/Max Racing Chevrolet Corvette of Rick Carelli, David Liniger, and John Metcalf.
"It's pretty amazing," Wagner said. "I'm still trying to digest it. It's pretty insane -- winning the first-ever North American GT championship for Ferrari. That's one for the record books. I've had a great career in sports car racing, but this tops it all off. It's amazing to win it for Ferrari."
Johannes van Overbeek, Lonnie Pechnik, and Seth Neiman came home second in the Rennwerks Motorsports Porsche GT3 RS, while the Racer's Group Porsche GT3 RS of Kevin Buckler, Chris Gleason, and Pierre Ehret finished third, one lap behind the leaders.