Watkins Glen: AIM/Doncaster qualifying report

AIM Autosport just missed a top-10 start position for the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series race at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International on Saturday, but the team has a strong car for the six-hour race. Burt Frisselle of Lynchburg, Va., qualified the...

AIM Autosport just missed a top-10 start position for the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series race at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International on Saturday, but the team has a strong car for the six-hour race. Burt Frisselle of Lynchburg, Va., qualified the No. 61 Lexus-powered Riley Mk XI in one minute 45.490 seconds on the 3.4-mile road course, after encountering traffic on his fast lap. He will drive the first race stint on Saturday, then alternate with his brother Brian Frisselle and with Mark Wilkins of Toronto.

"We didn't get the top-10 we were shooting for -- we got nicked by one spot; I had a little traffic on the last lap. But I can't wait for tomorrow because we always practice on heavy fuel loads and our race pace is always better than our practice pace, so tomorrow can't come soon enough. I think we're in store for a good day," Burt Frisselle said. "I love this track; I've had some really good luck here. I think we'll be moving up the charts pretty early."

Doncaster Racing will start the race from 17th on the GT-class grid, based on Greg Wilkins' qualifying lap of 1:57.653 in the No. 17 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. The Toronto driver had little time in the car before qualifying, ceding the seat time to Robert Julien of Gulfstream, Fla., and Tom Papadopolous of East Hills, N.Y., who are driving in place of Wilkins' usual co-driver, Dave Lacey of Toronto.

"The car was very good from a handling perspective, but for some reason it didn't seem to translate into really good speed, although the qualifying speed was a good second faster than practice," Wilkins said. "We were trying to do more in a few places on the track and it just didn't add up to as much as we hoped. I'm a little disappointed to see where it's at on the grid, but pleased to see that we made gains."

Mille Miglia

Doncaster driver Tom Papadopolous traveled from New York to Italy to compete in the 2007 Mille Miglia race, covering a 1000-mile loop through Brescia, Ferrari and Rome from May 17 to 19. Papadopolous shared a 1953 Aston Martin DB 3S with John Sinders, a member of the new Aston Martin ownership consortium.

"Everyone should do it at least once in their lifetime if they have the opportunity because it is absolutely one of the most amazing things, like jumping into yesteryear," Papadopolous said. "There were several 550 Spyder Porsches, a Ferrari Testarossa, Tour de France Ferraris, a 750 Monza, one of two Aston DB R2s in the world and several DB 3Ss. What better than to drive an old racing car through Italy? That said, I actually enjoy this [Rolex Series racing] just as much, being in a proper racing car that's purpose-built. It's the same sort of cameraderie -- the best part of this, regardless of winning or losing, is the team."

-credit: aim

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Burt Frisselle , Robert Julien , Dave Lacey , Greg Wilkins , Mark Wilkins , Brian Frisselle