Laguna Seca: Bell Motorsports race report

Borcheller and Kelleners Finish Third at Laguna In Kodak EasyShare DORAN JE4 Pontiac No. 54 MONTEREY, Calif., May 1 - Ralf Kelleners and Terry Borcheller got to represent the Bell Motorsports/Feeds the Need Racing team on the victory podium ...

Borcheller and Kelleners Finish Third at Laguna In Kodak EasyShare DORAN JE4 Pontiac No. 54

MONTEREY, Calif., May 1 - Ralf Kelleners and Terry Borcheller got to represent the Bell Motorsports/Feeds the Need Racing team on the victory podium after they brought the Kodak EasyShare DORAN JE4 Pontiac No. 54 home third Sunday afternoon at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in the Road & Track 250 Rolex series race.

The event was broadcast live on SPEED.

Both drivers had spectacular, although quite different, moves in the two-hour-and-45-minute race.

Kelleners, of Dusseldorf, Germany, was extremely impressive on defense when he missed two cars that spun right in front of him on lap 46 in turn five. He had to hit the grass to avoid them, but somehow he emerged unscathed.

Borcheller, of Gainesville, Ga., was impressive with an offensive move on the last restart in which he used a slower GT car to power by a Daytona Prototype driver who was doing his best to block him on the frontstretch. Borcheller was suffering from a bacterial infection Sunday but one wouldn't have known it by the way he drove, as he advanced from fourth to third with that slick move to seal up the podium finish.

Kelleners started sixth. He wisely let things settle down early in the race and dropped to eighth at the beginning, but he had moved into the top five by lap 17 of what turned out to be a 97-lap event. He was as high as third when some of the leaders pitted on lap 25, but then he pitted too and was penalized 10 seconds for an illegal pass entering the pits.

He persevered and really put on a charge from lap 30 to lap 34, when he moved from 12th to eighth. He was in that spot when Matteo Bobbi and Max Angelelli had contact and spun right in front of him in turn five. Somehow he missed them both, and was rewarded by advancing to fifth place.

Kelleners was still in fifth when he pitted on lap 61 for four fresh Hoosier tires, fuel and to let Borcheller take over.

Borcheller passed Mike Borkowski for fourth on lap 78, and then focused on Max Angelelli in third place.

He got his chance on a restart on lap 87, powering by both Angelelli and Will Nonnamaker in a Porsche GT car on the frontstretch. Another caution then came out and the race ended under yellow a few minutes later with 97 laps complete.

Luis Diaz and Scott Pruett won the race in the CompUSA car.

Borcheller, Kelleners and car owner Forest Barber are slated to drive at the next race, the Six Hours of Mont-Tremblant in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec on May 21.

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 and Kelleners' is at www.kelleners-sport.com. Other interesting information can be found at www.grandamerican.com, www.laguna-seca.com, www.speedtv.com and www.restartcommunications.com.

Quotes follow:

Ralf Kelleners: "There was a lot of fighting the whole way through; it was a very hard race. There was just a lot of hard driving. There wasn't a moment when you weren't fighting with somebody.

"The car was like it was in qualifying; nothing much changed from qualifying and the race.

"[Max] Angelelli and the Doran car spun right in front of me in turn five. That was really my only close call.

"I'm not sure how many other races I'll do in this car, but I know for sure I'll do Mont-Tremblant and the Glen Six Hour. It will be my first time at Mont-Tremblant."

Terry Borcheller: "I have to thank Ralf Kelleners and everybody on the Kodak EasyShare team. I was feeling crummy; I have a bacterial infection or something. I also have to thank Vincenco Tota, the doctor who gave me some medicine to help me get through this race. I don't think I could have done it without his help.

"The car was good. It had too much understeer early, but I adjusted the bars in the front and the rear on that last yellow and it helped.

"Ralf did a fantastic job.

"We definitely had more power than we had at Fontana, so we have to thank Pontiac too.

"I am not happy with Max Angelelli. I have always been courteous to him, but at the end what he did to me was totally uncalled for. I don't know if he was trying to crash me or trying to give me a flat tire or what, but there will be no more slack for him from me."

Jim Bell (team owner, Bell Motorsports):  "We're moving in the right
direction.  Terry was sick, but we had a pretty good car."

-bms-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Ralf Kelleners , Scott Pruett , Luis Diaz , Terry Borcheller , Matteo Bobbi , Max Angelelli , Mike Borkowski , Forest Barber