Bell Motorsports Wins Mid-Ohio Road Racing Classic LEXINGTON, Ohio (June 28, 2003) -- After losing the lead with only two laps to go in last weekend's Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen, the Bell Motorsports team would not be denied another victory...
Bell Motorsports Wins Mid-Ohio Road Racing Classic
LEXINGTON, Ohio (June 28, 2003) -- After losing the lead with only two laps to go in last weekend's Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen, the Bell Motorsports team would not be denied another victory as the #54 Chevy-powered Doran JE4 Daytona Prototype captured the checkered flag at the Mid-Ohio Road Racing Classic on Saturday evening. Bell Motorsports drivers Terry Borcheller and Forest Barber were able to take advantage of full course cautions to regain their position on the lead lap and eventually move into the lead for the team's second win of the season.
"The yellow came out at exactly the right time. We made an excellent call in staying out (until the final laps of the caution). That allowed us to get on the lead lap. We were able to get the driver change done, and I was able to catch up to the back of the pack. It was just picture perfect," said Borcheller, who took the reigns of the #54 Chevy for his second stint during a full course caution caused by a car in the gravel on lap 62 of the 102-lap race.
The double yellow also negated the tremendous lead that Stu Haynor and Eric Curran had built up in the GardenIron.com #29 Mustang. The GTS-class Mustang held the overall lead for more than 50 laps, but suddenly rolled to a halt on lap 79 when its Ford engine let go, bringing out another double yellow and bunching up the leaders for a shootout to the checkered flag.
Borcheller found himself at the front of the field as the course returned to green, where he kept the #54 Chevy for the remainder of the race while a battle for second-place ensued in his rearview mirror.
David Donohue, who had gone off course and collected grass in the radiator of the #58 Red Bull Porsche on the earlier restart, weaved his way through the field, picking off both Hurley Haywood in the Brumos Racing #59 Porsche and Tommy Riggins in the #48 Mustang to claim second place overall despite two unscheduled pit stops to clean the radiator and repair a damaged tire.
"Me going off on the restart and packing the radiator with grass I don't think was what really put us under. I think it was the contact with Justin (Bell in the #31 Mosler). It knocked a valve stem off, and that put us out of it," said Donohue, who finished 8.623 seconds behind the winner. "I guess second isn't that bad of a salvage after all of the turmoil."
Riggins and Haywood continued to battle for third place overall, each turning their fastest laps of the race in the closing moments before the checkered. "Hurley had it down. He was running as hard as he could and I was running as hard as I could. I had to keep turning fast laps, because he was going to get me if I didn't," said Riggins, who was able to keep the Heritage Mustang in the third-place position overall in addition to the top honors in the GTS class.
Ohio-natives Larry Schumacher and BJ Zacharias took home top honors in the GT class. The pair piloted the Schumacher Racing #98 Porsche GT3 RS to the class victory over the Marcus Motorsports #69 BMW M3.
"I always love coming back to Mid-Ohio. It was a great car. The crew did great. We just had a little luck and that never hurts anything," said Zacharias.
The second-place finish by the #69 BMW M3 propelled the Marcus Motorsports team and its drivers Hugh Plumb and Brian Cunningham into the GT class points lead, due to the early exit of the Ferrari of Washington #33 Ferrari 360GT, which never completely recovered from a major collision during practice on Friday.
The Mid-Ohio Road Racing Classic will be broadcast on SPEED Channel on Sunday, June 29 at noon ET.
The Rolex Sports Car Series travels next to Daytona International Speedway for the Paul Revere 250 on Thursday, July 3. Tickets are currently on sale for the event and can be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.
For more information about the Rolex Series and Grand-Am Cup Series, visit www.grandamerican.com.