Can the Red Bull team shake its jinx? FONTANA, Calif. (June 4, 2003) -- Some call it jinxed, snake bitten, cursed or just plain bad luck, but no matter what you call it, the ...
Can the Red Bull team shake its jinx?
FONTANA, Calif. (June 4, 2003) -- Some call it jinxed, snake bitten, cursed or just plain bad luck, but no matter what you call it, the #58 Red Bull Porsche team seems to be suffering from it this season. Despite starting on the front row and leading every race this season, the drivers of the Brumos Racing entry, David Donohue and Mike Borkowski, have yet to earn their first Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series win.
"David and I have definitely been snake bitten. We have great guys on our car. Because of the number of poles and fast laps in practice, I think David and I have been the car and combo to beat. On paper we should have four race wins and a big points lead," remarked Borkowski.
The team's trouble started at the Rolex 24 At Daytona. Donohue put the Red Bull machine in the outside pole position, but less than six hours into the twice-around-the-clock classic Borkowski was at the wheel and in the lead when the Porsche engine expired.
Next the team traveled to the Nextel Grand Prix of Miami, where this time Donohue bested Chevy Daytona Prototype driver Terry Borcheller for the pole in qualifying. Once again the #58 Porsche was in the lead when trouble struck - this time in the form of an electrical malfunction that cost the team its shot at victory.
The Red Bull car's first visit to the west coast this season did not prove fruitful either. In Phoenix, Donohue once again outdid Borcheller for the pole and was in the middle of some exciting door-banging action throughout the first hour of the race. While all the contact between the Daytona Prototypes jockeying for the lead was a thrill for the fans to watch, it was detrimental to the team as it resulted in bodywork damage and a cut tire. Borkowski was able to bring the car back for a second place finish in class, its best of the season, but once again the Red Bull drivers watched their Brumos teammates celebrate in Victory Lane.
Donohue and Borkowski hoped that the next stop on the circuit at the new Barber Motorsports Park would spark a new pattern of winning for the team. The pair posted the quickest lap times in every practice session and yet again Donohue put the Red Bull Porsche on the pole. Donohue was in the lead when he pitted to hand the controls over to Borkowski, who proceeded to track down JC France in the other Brumos Porsche and pass him to recover the lead on lap 80. But only two turns later Brokowski looked out his right side window to see that his own wheel was passing him. Bad luck and struck again and repairs in the pits put the team out of contention.
"No one ever said that racing was a kind sport. I don't think our team strategy should change. I have a 100 percent confidence in our team," said Donohue. "I can only think of two practice sessions this entire year that we weren't the fastest car on the racetrack. There is no reason for us to change what we are doing. We just need a little change in luck."
The Red Bull team heads to California this week in hopes finally striking gold in the Grand American 400 at California Speedway, June 6-8.
"So much of our problems have been little freak things. It is stuff that happens with race teams all the time, but with everyone else it seems to happen on Friday during practice, and with us it always happens when we are in the lead," commented Borkowski, who is tied with his co-driver Donohue for fourth place in the driver standings, 16 points behind the leaders. "David and I were joking that each time we have won championships we had terrible starts to the season. It's still doable for us this year, but it's going to be tough."
"Winning a championship is one goal, and its one that I think we are still capable of achieving, but more importantly is the goal of winning each and every time we get onto the racetrack. Even if the championship was completely out of reach, its not like we are going to give up. We want to win, and we have that desire to win every time we take to the track," added Donohue.
Race fans can still purchase tickets to see the Red Bull team in its quest for victory. Tickets are currently on sale for the Grand American 400 at California Speedway and can be purchased online at www.californiaspeedway.com or by calling the Speedway ticket office at 800-944-RACE. Additional information is available on the Grand American website at www.grandamerican.com.