Kelleners to Join Borcheller for Calif. Swing In Kodak EasyShare DORAN JE4 Pontiac No. 54 FORT WORTH, March 24 - Ralf Kelleners will join Terry Borcheller behind the wheel of the Bell Motorsports/Feeds the Need Racing Kodak EasyShare DORAN ...
Kelleners to Join Borcheller for Calif. Swing In Kodak EasyShare DORAN JE4 Pontiac No. 54
FORT WORTH, March 24 - Ralf Kelleners will join Terry Borcheller behind the wheel of the Bell Motorsports/Feeds the Need Racing Kodak EasyShare DORAN JE4 Pontiac No. 54 for the Grand American 400 April 1-3 at California Speedway in Fontana, Calif. and the U.S. Sports Car Invitational at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif. April 29-May 1.
Christian Fittipaldi, who has been driving for the team on a race-by-race basis, will try out one of the Krohn Racing/TRG Riley Pontiacs for the Fontana event. He'll be racing stock cars in his native Brazil when the Laguna Seca event is held.
Borcheller, who celebrated his 39th birthday on Tuesday, and Kelleners, 36, of Dusseldorf, Germany, have actually been co-drivers for more races than Borcheller and Fittipaldi have. They have been paired up for many endurance races in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS), including last Saturday's Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring in Sebring, Fla., and they were co-drivers in the Rolex series in 2002. They will also do the 24 Hours of Le Mans together in June.
"I can't do the whole season anyway due to my commitment to run stock cars in Brazil," Fittipaldi explained. "Tracy Krohn and Kevin Buckler gave me the opportunity to run one of their cars on a one-off basis too, and I decided to accept that offer for Fontana.
"I'm very thankful for everything Forest [Barber, the owner of the #54], Jim [Bell, owner of Bell Motorsports] and Kodak have done for me, and I definitely hope to drive the Kodak EasyShare car again this year sometime," Fittipaldi continued. "Nothing is firmed up yet though. I definitely can't do the Laguna race [April 29-May 1] because I'll be in Brazil, so the next time I could be in the Kodak car is at Mont-Tremblant in May."
Kelleners was part of the Kodak EasyShare team at the season opener, the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. Feb. 3-6. Borcheller, Fittipaldi, Paul Tracy and Barber completed the driver line-up for that event.
At the most recent Rolex series race, the Miami Grand Prix at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Fla., on March 5, Fittipaldi led 22 laps in the Kodak EasyShare car. The only driver to lead more laps was one of the eventual winners, Max Angelelli.
Last October Borcheller, of Gainesville, Ga., qualified sixth at Fontana in the Kodak EasyShare entry. He was hit at the start of the race and spun, however, and the car suffered suspension damage. Although the team battled back to fifth place, several pit stops to eventually replace the damaged parts dropped it back to 13th in class at the checkered.
There is a track test day set for Thursday, March 31 on California Speedway's 2.8-mile road course. The first official practice session that the Daytona Prototype class can participate in is slated for 10:30 a.m. on Friday, April 1. More practice is on the slate for 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. that day.
On Saturday, April 2 there is more practice at 9:20 a.m. before qualifying is held at 2:10 p.m.
On race day, Sunday, April 3, there is a warm-up session at 9:15 a.m. before the race starts at 1 p.m. The distance is 400 kilometers/98 laps or two hours and 45 minutes, whichever comes first.
The race will be broadcast live at 4 p.m. Eastern on SPEED.
For more information, Feeds the Need's Web site is at www.feedstheneedracing.com. The Grand American section of Kodak's Web site is at www.Kodak.com/US/en/consumer/garr/.
Borcheller's Web site is at www.tborcheller.com; Kelleners' is at www.kelleners-sport.com and Fittipaldi's is at www.fittipaldionline.com. Other interesting information can be found at www.grandamerican.com, www.californiaspeedway.com, www.speedtv.com and www.restartcommunications.com.