Kodak EasyShare DORAN JE4 Pontiac No. 54 Finishes Tenth in Six Hours of Mont-Tremblant MONT-TREMBLANT, Quebec, May 21 - After the Bell Motorsports/Feeds the Need Racing pit crew performed miracles to get the Kodak EasyShare DORAN JE4 Pontiac No.
Kodak EasyShare DORAN JE4 Pontiac No. 54 Finishes Tenth in Six Hours of Mont-Tremblant
MONT-TREMBLANT, Quebec, May 21 - After the Bell Motorsports/Feeds the Need Racing pit crew performed miracles to get the Kodak EasyShare DORAN JE4 Pontiac No. 54 race-ready after a crash in practice on Thursday at Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant, co-drivers Ralf Kelleners of Dusseldorf, Germany and Terry Borcheller of Gainesville, Ga. also turned in stellar performances under very difficult driving conditions to finish tenth Saturday in the Six Hours of Mont-Tremblant Rolex series race.
About two-thirds of the event was run under a steady rain that sent plumes of water everywhere and made the 2.65-mile, 15-turn road course very treacherous.
Kelleners had a fabulous start, vaulting from 16th at the green to sixth by lap eight despite an oversteering condition.
What's more, he drove most of his first stint without a windshield wiper, which departed the car somewhere around lap 18 while he was running sixth.
"I can see a little except for when there is a car in front of me," he said over the radio a little after that point, which of course was often since there were 39 other cars in the race.
He soldiered on and turned the car over to Borcheller in good shape on lap 70 about two hours and a half into the event. The driver's side door flew open shortly after Borcheller left the pits, but he was able to close it himself.
Borcheller, who is commuting back and forth between this race and an American Le Mans Race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio this weekend, had his hands full too during the middle stint. He had contact with someone at one point which punched a hole in the No. 54's right-front bodywork.
The team got a lap down during one of its pit stops but continued to do its best. Kelleners drove the last third of the race too, and the team's hard work was rewarded with the top-10 finish at the end.
The 188-lap event was won by the CITGO Howard Boss Motorsports car of Milka Duno, Andy Wallace and Jan Lammers.
The race was broadcast live on SPEED.
Car owner Forest Barber of Fort Worth didn't drive Saturday, but he hopes to do at least one stint during the next race, another six-hour enduro at Watkins Glen, N.Y. June 10-12.
Unofficially the team is eighth in the current Daytona Prototype team point standings after Saturday's race. Borcheller is ninth in the driver points and Kelleners is 15th, again unofficially.
For more information, Feeds the Need's Web site is at feedstheneedracing.com. The Grand American section of Kodak's Web site is at Kodak.com/US/en/consumer/garr/.
Borcheller's Web site is at tborcheller.com and Kelleners' is at kelleners-sport.com. Other interesting information can be found at grandamerican.com, lecircuit.com, speedtv.com and restartcommunications.com.
Terry Borcheller: "The weekend didn't start real well. Something broke for sure on Thursday. We're speculating but we think it might have been the pick-up point on the right front. I heard a pop and the car stepped sideways and I went straight into the guardrail. My neck is sore, that's all. I was able to get it turned a little before I hit, and that's how I think I hurt my knee a little too. I'm just a little stiff from that, that's all.
"The set of wets [tires] that I had when I got in weren't scuffed, and when I was driving it was like driving on ice. I like to drive in the rain so that was very frustrating for me. I just couldn't get it to handle right at all. No matter what I did, nothing helped. It took me a good 20 laps to get any heat into the tires at all.
"The car was good in the dry. We didn't have any time to get the car like we had it here last year because of the accident on Thursday. But the team did a great job just to get the car repaired well enough to race, and it was decent, really.
"Ralf drove a great race, as always.
"And now I have to get going to make it to Mid-Ohio!"
Ralf Kelleners: "The car was back to normal after the accident. The conditions during the race were terrible, but they were the same for everybody.
"We lost the windshield wiper during my first stint. I drove most of that stint without it. That was very, very difficult. When no car was in front of me it was OK, but when there was traffic I just couldn't see the lines.
"But I stayed out of trouble, as always."