VIR: Race report

Bell Motorsports captures points lead with VIR 400 victory ALTON, Va. (October 5, 2003) -- Bell Motorsports has been in search of the Daytona Prototype points lead all season long, and the team finally moved to the front of the class with its ...

Bell Motorsports captures points lead with VIR 400 victory

ALTON, Va. (October 5, 2003) -- Bell Motorsports has been in search of the Daytona Prototype points lead all season long, and the team finally moved to the front of the class with its victory in the VIR 400 at Virginia International Raceway on Sunday. Andy Pilgrim started the No. 54 Chevy Doran JE4 Daytona Prototype on the pole and Terry Borcheller captured the checkered flag 400 kilometers and 77 laps later.

The No. 54 Chevy's boost into the points lead was due in part to the troubles suffered by the No. 58 Red Bull Porsche FABCAR Daytona Prototype of Brumos Racing. The Porsche fell victim to suspension damage early in the race, which dropped it several laps behind, and had its fate sealed when it was involved in a multi-car pile up with only 15 laps remaining in the race.

The Brumos Racing No. 59 Porsche had been leading the race prior to the pile-up, but ducked into the pits for a splash of fuel and a new front right tire, giving the lead over to Borcheller in the No. 54 Chevy. Only three turns later Borcheller was able to maneuver the No. 54 machine around the three-car collision to smooth sailing to the checkered flag.

Haywood was able to hold onto second place overall, despite a serious threat from Darren Law in the G&W Motorsports No. 8 BMW Picchio DP. Law pressured Haywood throughout the final laps but could never get around the No. 59 Porsche and took home third-place honors.

Ferrari of Washington won the Acxiom Grand Touring Challenge bonus of $4,000 with its fifth-place finish overall and GT class victory. Drivers Brent Martini and Cort Wagner led the class for every lap of the race, sailing to a multi-lap lead over the second-place No. 69 BMW M3 of Brian Cunningham and Hugh Plumb. The No. 98 Porsche GT3 RS of Larry Schumacher and BJ Zacharias finished third in class after being involved in the late-race multi-car accident.

Two GTS teams celebrated in Victory Lane at VIR. The ICY/SL Motorsports team scored their first-ever Rolex Series victory, winning the GTS class with its No. 06 Corvette of Paul Alderman, Steve Lisa and David Rosenblum.

While David Machavern and Tommy Riggins took home second-place honors, the pair also clinched the GTS championship for the Heritage Motorsports No. 48 Mustang. The two will now try to secure a tie in the GTS driver champion at the Grand American Championship Weekend in Daytona next month.

The Derhaag Motorsports No. 40 Corvette of Simon Gregg and Kenny Wilden finished third in the GTS class. The No. 40 machine had held a strong lead in the class until losing its engine late in the race.

The lone SRPII entry, the G&W Motorsports No. 12 Nissan Lola of Davy Jones, Robert Prilika and Danny Marshall, finished eighth overall.

The Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series will wrap up its 2003 season with the Grand American Champions Weekend at Daytona International Speedway, October 30 - November 1. Tickets and event information are available online at


"We were catching Hurley late in the race. When it was green, we were catching him about a half-second a lap, and I was just trying to be patient with traffic. I got together with Darren. Other than that, I had no altercations. I thought he saw me. He would have let me in if he saw me, but he said he didn't see me. Other than that, I was just being cautious and careful, and we were still catching him about a half second a lap and we would have caught him before the end. On the last restart, the words in my head were 'Don't look back.' Just keep trucking. I knew Bill Auberlen was there -- actually, I was glad he was there, because he had gotten around Hurley and made it a little easier for me at the end. We wanted to put both the Doran cars across the finish line at the same time. Our strategy was great, and Bell Motorsports did a great job as always. It came our way, and it couldn't have happened at a better time. I don't know what this does to the 58 car in the points, but I know it hurt them some. The car now to focus on is the 59 car, because they're now also real close."


"I've certainly got mixed emotions, but the result is what we were looking for. We tried to put together the best program for the results. It came our way. I don't know what would have happened if I'd been in the car, but I'm really glad for the finish we had."


"We were just kind of hanging on at the end, and I didn't have anything left for Terry at the end. Second is good, considering everything. The car was really good and the crew did a great job. We just came up a little short. That spoiled my record here -- every race I've been in here, I've won. But second ain't bad."


"It went great. I've got to give a big thank you to the whole G&W crew. They worked so hard putting this car back together so we could race, and I would like to thank my co-driver Patrick, who was fast as usual. Both of us ran good and we're up on the podium again. At the end of the race, believe it or not, Hurley had me coming down the straightaway. I was working real hard, making some time on braking and cornering, but as soon as it was time to put the power down, I'd lose the space down the straightaway and couldn't make back up in the brake zone what I lost down the straightaway."


"The car was great, no complaints. Unfortunately, we had a lot of yellows, and for a small field, it's disappointing that so many people were taking chances. At the end of the year, championship points mean more now than they did back then. The whole Ferrari of Washington team put together an incredible effort."


"We had a very consistent car all weekend. The Ferrari of Washington guys always prepare a great car, so it was a lot of fun today."


"There were a lot of cars spinning. The Multimatic spun in front of me, and I swerved to try to miss him, but a Porsche had also spun and I couldn't get around him. That ended our day. The car was messed up the whole time I was out there. Something happened to the rear suspension while Mike was driving, and the car wasn't right after that. We pitted to try to fix it three times. The third time they came close, but it still wasn't right."


"I was being very careful, because of the softer compound tires and the cooler weather. I was waiting, being very careful passing in the traffic, but it's too bad. I was going around a Ferrari, I was giving him a lot of room, but when I was going around he got into me."


"Physically, I haven't been in a race car in ages. Mentally, I'm racing every day. It was good to be back out there. The track got greasy, and there wasn't as much grip, especially when we got light on fuel. You have to wait to get a set when you went going left to right. Once we topped it off with fuel, it settled down. I was mentally set to run to the finish, but the team decided to put Danny Marshall in. It's just a matter of seat time for me. I haven't felt this way in a long time. You can test and develop cars, but it's not like actually going out racing. I'm there. I'm ready to go fast. I'd like to be in a Daytona Prototype next year."


"It's nice to wrap up the team championship. We had a water pump belt come off early in the race, and it took a couple stops to get the car cooled off. I think we might have had something for the 40 car if they kept running. They were impressive. They really ran well. I would like to give our congratulations to the ICY team. They deserve a little success."

PAUL ALDERMAN (#06 ICY/SL MOTORSPORTS CORVETTE): (First professional victory):

"I was the first one in, and turned it over to Steve and Dave, and they did a real good job. My shift went good. We were running nice, consistent laps like our plan was, and everything went well."


"I thought it was great for about 10 minutes, and I think we lost a valve spring or two, and spent the rest of the time trying not to hurt the motor, running times that kept us up in front without hurting anything worse. We just kept praying it would make it to the end, which it barely did."


"This is a payback for Watkins Glen (they broke while leading the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen), but it wasn't the way we wanted to win. But we'll take it any way we can get it. The car broke at the end, I was riding around in second gear just to coast across the finish line. It's satisfying to win, because you get a paycheck, but I'd rather win dicing it out."

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Andy Pilgrim , Bill Auberlen , Terry Borcheller , Darren Law , Simon Gregg , Paul Alderman , Tommy Riggins , Davy Jones , Brian Cunningham , Hugh Plumb , BJ Zacharias , David Machavern , Robert Prilika , Danny Marshall , David Rosenblum , Cort Wagner