The Krohn Racing duo of Jorg Bergmeister and Colin Braun has caught fire of late, and they scored their third victory in the last four races with a win at the Barber Motorsports Park. Braun qualified the team's Ford Riley on pole and led early ...
The Krohn Racing duo of Jorg Bergmeister and Colin Braun has caught fire of late, and they scored their third victory in the last four races with a win at the Barber Motorsports Park. Braun qualified the team's Ford Riley on pole and led early before handing off to Bergmeister, who brought home the win and survived several late cautions and challenges. Bergmeister extended his points lead to 39 over Max Angelelli with just three races remaining.
It didn't take long for the action to get going. On the pace laps Greg Wilkins lost his left rear tire on his Porsche GT entry, which delayed the start. Once the green flew Jonathan Cochet lost control of his Pontiac Riley, going into the grass and digging up a massive divot of dirt. His day was over before it ever got going. Butch Leitzinger, Olivier Beretta and Alex Figge also had damage from separate cases of contact.
On lap 17 the second full course caution flew when John Olson stalled his BMW M3 and several of the leaders took the opportunity to pit. Angelelli and Patrick Long pitted, with Long relinquishing driving duties to Mike Rockenfeller. From there they needed only one stop to make it to the finish while the others needed two.
There was a great battle for fourth between four cars when another caution flew, this time as Ian Baas spun off into the gravel. It was a bit like quicksand, as when Baas tried to get going he only got himself in deeper. The clear skies got darker and rain appeared all but inevitable, having done so at about 4:00 p.m. each day of the weekend. Rain had also caused an early conclusion to Saturday's Grand-Am Cup race.
At this yellow, Braun and fourth-placed Bill Auberlen pitted. One would think the 90-degree temperatures and 80% humidity would get to the drivers even after such a small period of time. "The humidity really gets to you," Braun said, "but you look worse than you really are." Meanwhile Memo Gidley said "hot yoga classes" paid dividends for him since his air conditioning, cooling suit and water bottle had all quit after only the first 45 minutes of the race.
At the restart Christian Fittipaldi assumed the lead and held it until he pitted a second time, giving his car to Max Papis. Mario Haberfeld also pitted and Alex Gurney took over the point as the field continued to cycle through. At this point Rockenfeller and Gurney needed another stop to make it to the finish. They pitted simultaneously with 35 minutes remaining, Gurney barely making it.
Bergmeister was close on fuel and dove in to top off at the next caution, when Boris Said had a problem in his Porsche Doran. The strategy paid off and Bergmeister resumed in the lead in front of Angelelli, Rockenfeller and Jon Fogarty. With a situation similar to Virginia International Raceway, when the top three could be covered by a blanket, Bergmeister had to endure a couple of challenges.
But Bergmeister got a great restart and the battle was for 2nd. Rockenfeller got close to overtaking Angelelli and was unable to do so. The top four finished as they restarted, with Fernandez coming home 5th.
In GT, The Racer's Group brought home another victory by their Pontiac GTO.R. The class-leading duo of Andy Lally and Marc Bunting were relatively unchallenged and took the lead once their team car pitted for the last time. Lally and Bunting's rivals, Wolf Henzler and Robin Liddell in the Tafel Racing Porsche, finished in 2nd with the other TRG Pontiac in 3rd. The Frisselle brothers, Burt and Brian, faded to 5th in their GT debut for Pacific Coast Motorsports. They ran 3rd late, but still posted a good result considering the lack of luck they had in Daytona Prototypes.
There are three races to go in the season, in conjunction with Nextel Cup at Watkins Glen and IndyCars in Sonoma, and finally for the 9-hour feature event at the fantastic new Miller Motorsports Park in Utah. Bergmeister's lead is substantial in DP while Lally and Bunting helped improve their margin with the victory in GT.