Virginia (VIR): Rand Racing preview

Rand Racing is closing on two Rolex Sports Car Series championships as it nears the end of a dream debut season. With an SRPII class pole and victory in every race it has entered, the team needs two more strong finishes to clinch the 2002 SRPII...

Rand Racing is closing on two Rolex Sports Car Series championships as it nears the end of a dream debut season. With an SRPII class pole and victory in every race it has entered, the team needs two more strong finishes to clinch the 2002 SRPII team and driver titles.

Rand Racing has a 51-point lead in team standings over second-place G&W Motorsports. In driver points, Terry Borcheller has a margin of 52 over fellow Phoenix driver Darren Law. Borcheller's co-driver, Anthony Lazzaro of Acworth, Ga., is a close third, 12 points behind Law. A maximum 105 points may be won in the three races remaining this season.

Borcheller says Rand Racing's class win at the season-opening Rolex 24 of Daytona in February was critical to his championship drive.

"The 24-hour win was a big step in the right direction for the championship," he said. "You need to do well at the 24-hour; otherwise, you're playing catch-up all year. Normally, you don't think of the championship hinging on the first race of the season, but the 24-hour has so many entries, if your closest competitor wins the race and you DNF [do not finish], you're looking at a 20-point spread and it's hard to make that up."

The next Rolex Series race is set for Sept. 1 on the 3.27-mile Virginia International Raceway road course in Alton, Va. Borcheller and Lazzaro will drive the No. 8 Rand Racing Nissan Lola in the five-hour race. Niclas Jönsson of Aliso Viejo, Calif., and Ralf Kelleners of Germany will share the No. 7 Lola. Both cars are prepared by Risi Competizione.

anti-terror tactics

The current focus on national security is familiar to Niclas Jönsson, who used his driving talent to support defense programs in his home country of Sweden. Jönsson trained the Swedish royal bodyguards and secret service in defensive driving and anti-terrorist tactics. His course included an unnerving exercise in which students learned to combine evasive maneuvers and car control after unknown forces shot the tires of their cars.

Jönsson noted the similarities between defensive driving and racing. "You have to be very, very focused and ready for anything that might happen," he said. "You need to think ahead all the time. You need to be physically and mentally strong. It all happens at high speed, so it's important to be calm and think it through."

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Ralf Kelleners , Terry Borcheller , Darren Law , Aliso Viejo
Teams Risi Competizione