Barber Qualifies 14th Friday at Homestead in Bell Motorsports Kodak EasyShare DORAN Pontiac HOMESTEAD, Fla., Feb. 27 - After losing an engine in practice Thursday, Miami-based Bell Motorsports rebounded to qualify 14th Friday afternoon ...
Barber Qualifies 14th Friday at Homestead in Bell Motorsports Kodak EasyShare DORAN Pontiac
HOMESTEAD, Fla., Feb. 27 - After losing an engine in practice Thursday, Miami-based Bell Motorsports rebounded to qualify 14th Friday afternoon for tomorrow's Grand Prix of Miami Grand American Rolex series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Forest Barber of Fort Worth was behind the wheel of the Kodak EasyShare DORAN JE4 Pontiac #54 during qualifying. His fastest lap was clocked in 1:16.470 (108.278 mph).
Barber had some family members along for the ride.
The car features a decal on its side that shows a Kodak digital camera, and in its viewfinder is a photo of two of Barber's daughters, Mary and Alexandra, and the family's German Shepherd, Nina. The team plans to change the photo at every race.
Although the team has been faced with some challenges here so far, Barber was very pleased with the way its members have pulled together to solve them.
"The Bell Motorsports team was able to work through several difficulties we've had here so far," Barber explained. "Besides the engine, we had some challenges with our electrical system. But now the car is running well. We qualified back in the pack, but we think the car will do well in the race. It should be exciting!"
"After losing the motor on Thursday, basically our first session was right before qualifying," explained the team's lead driver, Terry Borcheller of Gainesville, Ga. "Basically Forest didn't have a chance to get up to speed except for this afternoon's session, but he didn't get much time. In addition to the engine problem, we had some problems with our brakes and some other glitches."
Andy Pilgrim is also here, and after qualifying he and Barber were busy going over the data from the session.
"You're braking much better and turning in much better in every place except one," Pilgrim pointed out.
"The sun was in my eyes there," Barber explained.
"You're doing very good; now you just have to continue to do that with all the traffic we'll have tomorrow," Pilgrim stressed. "Now put everything you've learned here so far together and think 'traffic.'"
The team was 20th overall in Thursday's practice session due to the blown engine, with a 1:22.408 (100.476 mph). It advanced to 13th on Friday morning with a 1:17.285 (107.136 mph), and was up to eighth in Friday afternoon's practice session with a 1:16.150 (108.733 mph).
The race will be broadcast on SPEED at 4 p.m. Eastern time March 7.