Crown Royal Special Reserve DORAN JE4 Ford Leads Saturday Night's Rolex Series Race at PIR Before Accident Causes It to Finish 14th PHOENIX, Sept. 10 - Matteo Bobbi was in second place on lap 89 of the Racetickets.com Rolex series race Saturday...
Crown Royal Special Reserve DORAN JE4 Ford Leads Saturday Night's Rolex Series Race at PIR Before Accident Causes It to Finish 14th
PHOENIX, Sept. 10 - Matteo Bobbi was in second place on lap 89 of the Racetickets.com Rolex series race Saturday night at Phoenix International Raceway when he was involved in an accident with lapped traffic. The right front of his car, Doran Racing's Crown Royal Special Reserve DORAN JE4 Ford No. 77, was too badly damaged for the car to continue and the entry ended up 14th in the final rundown, although earlier it led three laps of the 146-lap event and was consistently in the top four.
Bobbi was very upset with the driver he tangled with, who he thought was Terry Borcheller but was actually Ralf Kelleners in the Kodak EasyShare DORAN JE4 Pontiac. He felt that Kelleners should have given him more room since he was being lapped and was several laps down, and he complained that Kelleners drove right into him. Kelleners' car had been involved in two accidents before that and was extremely loose, which most certainly was a factor in what was just one of several controversial incidents in an event that had more than one penalties for avoidable contact. One of those penalties was given to the Southard Motorsports No. 3 for its role in the same incident.
Prior to the contact between Bobbi and Kelleners, that car had slammed into the rear of Kelleners' car. Kelleners was regrouping from that while Bobbi was trying to fight off Oswaldo Negri Jr. in the Michael Shank Racing No. 6, who was in third place, as they all flew into turn one. At that point the contact occurred between Bobbi and Kelleners, causing both cars to spin and eventually call it a night.
Before things ended prematurely it certainly looked like the Doran Racing squad was in line for a podium finish.
Gollin qualified ninth and drove the first stint. He was up to fifth by lap 17 and fourth by lap 22, but he had trouble getting around Wayne Taylor and he stayed in fourth for quite a while. He slipped to sixth when he spun in turn five on lap 53, but he continued on and seven laps later he back in fourth again when some of the cars ahead of him pitted under yellow.
Gollin stayed out under that yellow, taking the lead on lap 62. When he made his pit stop on lap 64 it was as the leader of the race. The Doran Racing crew quickly gave the Crown Royal car four fresh Hoosiers and fuel and Bobbi got in.
Bobbi was back in fourth place by lap 79 and was ready to try his hand at passing the SunTrust No. 10, now being driven by Max Angelelli. He vaulted to third when the Finlay Motorsports car and the CompUSA No. 01 had contact, bringing out another full-course caution on lap 82 for debris. Bobbi got by Angelelli for second place on lap 87 and was ready to try to pass Butch Leitzinger for the lead when the accident that knocked him out occurred.
Jorg Bergmeister and Christian Fittipaldi ended up winning in the Krohn Racing/TRG No. 66 followed by Taylor and Angelelli in the SunTrust No. 10 and Elliott Forbes-Robinson and Leitzinger in the Howard-Boss Motorsports No. 4.
The Daytona Prototypes ran without the GT cars for the first time in the DP class's history. With four cautions for 23 laps, it ended up being a timed race of two hours and 45 minutes.
The race is scheduled to be shown on SPEED on a tape-delayed basis at 4 p.m. Eastern time tomorrow (Sunday).
For more information please see doranracing.com and crownroyal.com. Matteobobbi.com has information on that driver, while Gollin's Web site is at fabriziogollin.com.
Other interesting information can be found at grandamerican.com, phoenixintlraceway.com, speedtv.com and restartcommunications.com.