Homestead: Pre-race notes

Borcheller quickest in Happy Hour. Terry Borcheller posted the quickest lap time during the final practice session for this afternoon's Nextel Grand Prix of Miami at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Borcheller clocked a 110.542 mph lap in 1:18.160 at...

Borcheller quickest in Happy Hour.

Terry Borcheller posted the quickest lap time during the final practice session for this afternoon's Nextel Grand Prix of Miami at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Borcheller clocked a 110.542 mph lap in 1:18.160 at the wheel of the Bell Motorsports #54 Chevy-powered Doran JE4 Daytona Prototype, which he will start from the outside pole position.

"We're happy, but the session before the race usually is not really a session that matters that much as far as lap times because everyone is just making sure that they don't wreck the car because they won't be able to get it fixed before the race," said Borcheller. "(The heat inside the car is) getting better. We've got a lot of moving air in the cockpit now and that makes the temperature inside there more tolerable. We still have a lot of heat in the engine compartment, and if it gets out of hand it will ultimately make the cockpit a lot hotter no matter what we do. After this race, that's going to be a primary objective is to get some of the heat out of the engine compartment."

Toyota Daytona Prototype Hits Track

The #3 Toyota-powered FABCAR Daytona Prototype of Cegwa Sport hit the track for the first time this weekend during the final practice session this morning. After struggling with bodywork problems earlier in the week, which kept the Fort Lauderdale-based team at its garage, the Toyota Daytona Prototype was able to record a few laps in practice this morning.

Driver Darius Grala had to bring the car into the garage after only a handful of laps to repair a heat shield problem. However, the crew was able to quickly make the needed adjustments and get the car back on track. Trouble struck the #3 Toyota again in the closing minutes of the practice session when it came to a stop on course. Grala reports the team is just working out the kinks that they normally would have taken care of earlier in the weekend.

The team thanked Brumos Racing for lending a hand during their bodywork woes. Brumos, which runs two FABCAR chassis, loaned bodywork to Cegwa Sport, which aided the team in making the needed repair to their own bodywork.

The Racer's Group, Heritage Motorsports Vying for Additional Acxiom Grand Touring Challenge Awards

Up to $4,000 is up for grabs during today's race in the Acxiom Grand Touring Challenge. The top finisher in the Grand Touring division - the best overall among GT and GTS entries - will be awarded a $1,000 award.

The Racer's Group and Heritage Motorsports have already been awarded $1,000 in awards for posting the best qualifying times in the GT and GTS classes on Friday. If either of those teams is lucky enough to also win the Grand Touring division in today's race, it will receive not only the $1,000 winner's award, but also an additional $3,000 award, making the total Acxiom Grand Touring Challenge award to that team $5,000 for this weekend.

If The Racer's Group or Heritage Motorsports does not win the Grand Touring division in today's race, the $3,000 award will be rolled over the Rolex Series next race at Phoenix International Raceway.

Acxiom Corporation was announced as the title sponsor of the Rolex Series Grand Touring Division during the Rolex 24 At Daytona earlier this month. The cornerstone of the sponsorship is the Acxiom Grand Touring Challenge, which includes awards of more than $80,000. The Racer's Group was the first team to benefit from the new sponsorship, earning a $10,000 award for the team's victory at the Rolex 24 At Daytona.

Gunnar Porsche Runs With Local Air Reserve Unit Colors

Gunnar Racing's #6 Porsche GT1 has a new paint scheme for this weekend's Nextel Grand Prix. The Porsche is carrying the colors of the 482nd Fighter Wing Division based at nearby Homestead Air Reserve Base. Several members of the division have joined the team this weekend and will be working in the pits during today's race.

Engine Change to Put Morgan-Dollar At Back of Grid

After qualifying in the 10th position on Friday, the Morgan-Dollar Motorsports #46 Acxiom Corvette will have to start at the rear of the grid due to an engine change today. Driver Rob Morgan reports that although the team put a fresh engine in the car prior to the event, it has been overheating throughout the weekend. Worried that the engine will not make it through the 250-mile race, the team has decided to replace it. However, the only engine on hand to replace it with is the same one that the Corvette used during the Rolex 24 At Daytona and has more than 24 hours of racing already logged on it.

Rolex Series Driver Autograph Session Today

Race fans at Homestead-Miami Speedway will get a chance to meet with their favorite Rolex Series drivers during an autograph session this afternoon. Some of the top drivers from the series will be on hand to meet with fans and sign autographs from 1:00 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. at the 1-800-PITSHOP.COM display located on the backside of the grandstands. Drivers slated to be on hand include five-time Rolex 24 At Daytona winner Hurley Haywood, today's polesitter David Donohue, past Rolex Series driver champions Terry Borcheller and Darren Law, as well as Mike Borkowski, J.C. France and Boris Said.

Homestead Six-Year-Old To Give Start Command

The Grand Marshal for this year's Nextel Grand Prix of Miami is six-year-old Alexander Zimmerman of Homestead, Fla. A cancer survivor, Zimmerman is a participant in the Make-A-Wish program. He was selected to be a special guest of Nextel for today's event and will give the 'Gentlemen Start Your Engines' command for the race.

South Miami Mayor Horace Feliu will wave the green flag as the honorary starter for the Nextel Grand Prix. Singing the national anthem for today's race will be Maxine Reyes, who is stationed at Homestead Air Reserve Base.

Homestead-Miami Speedway is offering fans both road racing and open-wheel racing during the February 28 - March 2 event weekend, with the Rolex Series running the Nextel Grand Prix of Miami today at 3 p.m., and the IRL IndyCar Series running its season-opening Toyota Indy 300 on Sunday, March 2. Tickets are currently on sale for the entire event weekend online at www.homesteadmiamispeedway.com or by calling the Speedway ticket office at 305-230-RACE.

For more information on the Nextel Grand Prix of Miami and the Rolex Sports Car Series, visit www.grandamerican.com.

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Darius Grala , Boris Said , Terry Borcheller , Hurley Haywood , Darren Law , David Donohue , Rob Morgan , J.C. Fra