Feeds the Need/Doran Racing Kodak EasyShare DORAN JE4 Ford No. 77 Finishes Seventh in Rolex 24 at Daytona DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Jan. 29 - There's a Ferris wheel in the infield of the Daytona International Speedway each year at the Rolex 24, but...
Feeds the Need/Doran Racing Kodak EasyShare DORAN JE4 Ford No. 77 Finishes Seventh in Rolex 24 at Daytona
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Jan. 29 - There's a Ferris wheel in the infield of the Daytona International Speedway each year at the Rolex 24, but the Feeds the Need/Doran Racing Kodak EasyShare team will remember the roller-coaster ride it had on the track during the 44th annual version of the twice-around-the-clock classic Saturday and Sunday.
The team's No. 77 DORAN JE4 Ford led the event at one point, then fell as far back as 52nd. But the Lebanon, Ohio-based team and its four drivers fought back and not only finished the twice-around-the-clock enduro, they recorded a solid seventh-place finish.
Prior to the race, lead driver Terry Borcheller of Gainesville, Ga. pointed out that a team always has a chance to do well in the Rolex 24 as long as it can keep running. His co-drivers, Harrison Brix of Campbell, Calif.; Forest Barber of Fort Worth and Michel Jourdain Jr. of Mexico City, Mexico, kept that in mind throughout the long night and the next morning after their car spun at 4:08 p.m. Saturday in turn five and then was collected by another driver who had no hope of avoiding it.
The damage was primarily just bodywork, but the team lost several laps to make repairs. It battled back throughout the night, and Borcheller had the distinction of putting it back into the top 10 around 5 a.m. Sunday morning.
Several laps lay between positions Sunday morning, so it was hard to advance much higher. The seventh-place finish at noon Sunday was extremely rewarding after the highs and lows of the event.
Besides the strong finish, the other highs were the four laps that the car led on Saturday before the accident, and the fact that it set its fastest lap late in the race, on lap 615 of the 703 it completed.
The team, which also carries the colors of SIRIUS, has a Web site at doranracing.com. Additional information is on line at fordracing.com, tborcheller.com and feedstheneedracing.com.
Post-race quotes follow:
Terry Borcheller: "Except for the one incident, I don't think we had any mistakes at all. I missed the Bus Stop and had to use the runoff area; I did that twice, so that cost us 4 seconds each time. I know I did it; I don't know if I know Forest, Harrison and Michel well enough that they'd tell me if they did that too.
"The team battled back when the car was hit, which is a real testament to the team and its ability to rebound. Forest felt bad about the incident but it's Daytona, and it happens. The car really wasn't any different after the incident than before it. If it hadn't happened we probably would have finished a couple spots higher, but it didn't really hurt us much. It just made us work harder!"
Harrison Brix: "Considering the incident that we had, it was amazing to see how our team kept our heads down and kept digging. We fought hard to get back up there. For me, it was good to find a new home like that.
"I was surprised about the aggressiveness that surfaced at different times this year. People were running people off the track and hitting each other with 14 hours to go this year. Last year, everybody seemed to settle down better. This year was much more of a battle. The race was not as clean as it was last year.
"I didn't have any incidents though. No spins; no problems. When I saw trouble developing I backed off and let it happen in front of me. I wasn't close to any real accidents though.
"The DORAN JE4 is a great car. When you get it working in its proper order, combined with our Ford power, I believe we have one of the strongest packages in the field.
"One thing that did develop was that we couldn't double-stint the tires at night this year. I think that's because the track has been repaved, and with more grip comes more load, and more load means the tires wear out quicker. They put new pavement down before the Paul Revere race last year. The asphalt must have had time to cure more now; I think that made the difference.
"Now I'm two for two in finishing the Rolex 24. That's a good way to start!"
Forest Barber: "This race is an increasing challenge as the years go on. The best drivers and the best-prepared teams are here, and Doran Racing is one of them. We had perfect pitwork and the perfect preparation of the car that Kevin brings to the program.
"Seventh here is like a first in a lot of series. It was good."
Michel Jourdain Jr.: "The whole experience of my first Rolex 24 was fantastic. The cars are so much fun to drive, and just being at Daytona was great; driving in both the daytime and at night required such a high level of concentration all the time.
"The Doran Racing team helped me a great deal. Doran Racing made my life so much easier for my first Rolex 24. They took care of all the little details that made my life so much easier.
"The car was good the whole race, even at the end. The Ford engine was strong. I ran my fastest lap of the race at the end. I was getting more comfortable all the time. I was just trying very hard not to make any mistakes.
"The only thing that was a little different than what I expected was the aggressiveness of the traffic. It was a little bit more than what I expected, but really nothing surprised me too much. It was what I expected. It was a real challenge and a lot of fun!"
Kevin Doran (team owner): "The car was really good. We had one little setback early on, but we kind of maintained our own pace after that and came back. The field is so competitive that it was difficult to make up a lot of positions. There is just so much depth to the field. I think it was the deepest field ever for the Rolex 24; in fact I'm sure of it.
"I feel pretty good about our race. The team did a great job and our driver line-up was fantastic. Our Ford engine was fantastic too. It gave us great power, gas mileage and reliability.
"It was a great effort from everyone on our team. It's always a proud moment to be part of finishing the Rolex 24."