Championship pace Rand Racing is taking a conservative approach to this weekend's Rolex Sports Car Series race at Virginia International Raceway. With SRPII team and driver championships on the line, only three races remaining in the season and...
Rand Racing is taking a conservative approach to this weekend's Rolex Sports Car Series race at Virginia International Raceway. With SRPII team and driver championships on the line, only three races remaining in the season and rainy conditions, the team is holding its pace to make sure both cars go the distance in Sunday's five-hour race on the 3.27-mile road course. SRPII driver points leader Terry Borcheller is driving the No. 8 Lola Nissan with Anthony Lazzaro. Marino Franchitti, Ralf Kelleners and Niclas Jönsson share the No. 7 Lola.
"The championship is what we've been working for all year and that's where our focus is," Lazzaro explained. "VIR is a fantastic race course, but it's also a very unforgiving track. We don't want to put anything at risk this weekend. With the way the weather is, we're being a little bit conservative. We definitely want to make sure we get two cars started in the race on Sunday."
Jönsson noted the Rand cars, prepared by Risi Competizione, are ready to race. "We've gone with a basic setup and just done fine-tuning. Everywhere we've gone, the track has been suitable for this car because it's an excellent race car overall. It's just a matter of getting the time to dial the car in and we can get it to go fast anywhere," he said. "This place is just unbelievably fun to drive. It has everything - fast corners, slow corners and elevation changes. it's going to be a very challenging and fun weekend."
This is the first time the Rolex Series has staged an event at Virginia International Raceway. Rand Racing's crew chief, Richard Taylor, explained how the team sets up its race cars for a new track. Accounting for the width of the track and characteristics of the turns, "You set it up for a similar track where you've been before," he said. "You can change the gear ratios for top speed, dive planes, wing angles, the rake of the car, springs and rollbars. All those would be similar to what you'd do on that type of circuit before."
Rand Racing strategist Thomas Blam was a member of the winning team in a celebrity karting event held Thursday evening on the new Euro Rally kart track at VIR. Team drivers Terry Borcheller and Niclas Jönsson also participated in the hour-long endurance race.