Bobbi and Gollin Finish Eighth Saturday at Mid-Ohio In EMCO Gears Classic Rolex Series Race LEXINGTON, Ohio, Aug. 27 -- Matteo Bobbi and Fabrizio Gollin drove Doran Racing's Crown Royal Special Reserve DORAN JE4 Ford No. 77 to a solid ...
Bobbi and Gollin Finish Eighth Saturday at Mid-Ohio In EMCO Gears Classic Rolex Series Race
LEXINGTON, Ohio, Aug. 27 -- Matteo Bobbi and Fabrizio Gollin drove Doran Racing's Crown Royal Special Reserve DORAN JE4 Ford No. 77 to a solid eighth-place finish in the EMCO Gears Classic Rolex series race Saturday at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
The car ran in fifth place for the first half of the race and it was always in the top 10. Fuel consumption and yellow flags played an important role in the outcome, however. The Crown Royal car had enough fuel to go the distance at the end when some of the cars ahead of it didn't, so it could have moved up dramatically in the late stages of the race. Unfortunately a late-race yellow flag allowed most of them to save enough fuel to make it to the end too, so the Crown Royal car ended up eighth.
After qualifying fifth, Bobbi ran in that position for the entire length of his stint. There were many yellow flags in the early going in what turned out to be a 94-lap, two-hour-and-45-minute race, but Bobbi steered clear of all the trouble. He battled most of the time with the Krohn Racing/TRG No. 66 and successfully held off the eventual winner, the Howard-Boss Motorsports No. 4, for many laps. He was still in fifth when he pitted under yellow on lap 38, about an hour and 10 minutes into the race.
Gollin took over at that point and due to the pit stop the entry fell back to ninth. He got eighth when the leading car, the Finlay Motorsports No. 19, pitted on lap 43, and seventh when the SunTrust No. 10 pitted under that same full-course yellow.
The Howard-Boss Motorsports No. 4 passed Gollin on the restart on lap 47 to push him back to eighth, but he was back in seventh again by lap 51 when the Krohn Racing/TRG No. 66 fell back. He ran in seventh for eight more laps around the 2.258-mile, 13-turn road course, but he was back in eighth on lap 59.
Pit stops by the Krohn Racing No. 67 and the polesitter, the Gainsco/Blackhawk Racing No. 99, moved Gollin up to sixth on lap 61, but the SunTrust No.10 passed him two laps latter to push him back to seventh. He ran in seventh until just 35 minutes were left in the race, when the Rx.com/Synergy Racing No. 8 passed him to push him back to eighth spot.
Despite enormous pressure from the Krohn Racing/TRG No. 66 he held eighth until lap 81, when that car finally got by. The last full-course yellow that ended up being so instrumental to the outcome flew on lap 83 when a Pontiac spun and slid into a gravel trap off Turn Four and a Corvette spun out in Turn 11.
Gollin got eighth again when Terry Borcheller pitted in the Kodak EasyShare car under that full-course yellow, but then the Krohn Racing/TRG No. 67 got around him on a very hairy restart on lap 86. When the New Century Mortgage No. 02 ran out of fuel while running third and had to pit on lap 90, Gollin was back in eighth place for the checkered. Another DORAN JE4, the Rx.com/Synergy Racing BMW, was right ahead of him in seventh place. The third one in the field, the Pontiac-powered Kodak car, led 15 laps and finished 12th.
The race will be televised on SPEED at noon ET on Sunday.
Only four races remain on the 14-race Rolex series schedule for 2005. They are: Sept. 8-10 at Phoenix International Raceway; Sept. 22-24 at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International with the Indy Racing League; Oct. 7-9 at Virginia International Raceway and Dec. 2-4 at Mexico City, Mexico.
Driver quotes follow:
Matteo Bobbi: "My stint was not too exciting. There were many yellow flags. I was just trying to do my job to keep the car in good shape for Fabrizio, which I did. The key was to finish. We just weren't fast enough tonight. We had enough gas to go the distance, but the yellow flag played against us. If it wasn't for that last yellow, some cars would have run out of fuel."
Fabrizio Gollin: "I'm sure that we needed more time at this track. Other drivers who know this track attacked it from the first practice; Matteo and I were just getting to know the course then. When you don't know the track, you can make mistakes very easily. It is a very difficult track."
"In the beginning I was conservative with my fuel, but in the end I tried hard but I couldn't advance."
"I wasn't close to any accidents."
"At the end we needed more general grip, but the balance of the car was good. The car was very good under braking."