Watkins Glen: Doran Racing race report

FTN/Doran Racing Team Finishes Eighth In Saturday's Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen WATKINS GLEN, N.Y., June 3 - Rain complicated everything, but the Feeds the Need/Doran Racing DORAN JE4 Ford No. 77 came through the Sahlen's Six Hours of the...

FTN/Doran Racing Team Finishes Eighth In Saturday's Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y., June 3 - Rain complicated everything, but the Feeds the Need/Doran Racing DORAN JE4 Ford No. 77 came through the Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen Rolex Series race without a scratch and solidly in eighth place Saturday at Watkins Glen International.

Terry Borcheller of Vero Beach, Fla. finished what his co-driver, Harrison Brix of San Jose, Calif., started and the entire crew's hard work paid off with a great result for the Lebanon, Ohio-based team and its sponsors, the Kodak EasyShare System, Amp'd Mobile and SIRIUS.

Brix started 13th in the field of 46 for the six-hour enduro on the Glen's 3.4-mile long course. The start was hairy so he wisely dropped back to 17th until things settled down a bit. By lap four he was in 15th place, running comfortably between Darren Law and Doug Goad. He was in 17th again on lap 12 when the first full-course yellow waved for debris in Turn 1 a half-hour into the event, but quick pit work by the Doran crew had him back in 15th after his pit stop for fuel only under that yellow on lap 13.

It was cold, windy and damp at that point with a few sprinkles, and the weather continued to play a role the rest of the way. The drivers not only had to be careful not to slide off the track, but they had to miss other drivers who weren't so fortunate. Team owners like the No. 77's Kevin Doran had to decide whether rain tires or slicks should be put on and when they should be put on, as well as help the drivers manage those tires for the best possible wear.

At the one-hour mark Brix was up to 12th, running between Doug Goad and Hurley Haywood. Behind him Rob Dyson had just crashed into a tire wall to bring out another yellow, and Goad's car was blowing oil and smoke in front of him.

"The whole track is greasy," Brix noted on the radio at the time.

The rain then started to increase on the backside of the circuit, but the pace of the race was still very fast. An hour and 20 minutes into the event it was raining all the way around the track, so on lap 37, or an hour and 25 minutes into the race, Brix pitted for four rain tires, fuel and for Borcheller to take over. He didn't pit a moment too soon, because on inspection in the pits the crew discovered that Brix's right-rear tire was nearly flat when he came in.

That bullet dodged, Borcheller started his work and he and Doran were forced to play weather forecasters as they tried to decide whether to go to dry Hoosiers when a full-course yellow waved on lap 40 for a car off in a gravel trap. They decided to see what some of the cars running ahead of theirs would do, and on lap 44 Borcheller was in 13th place, the same spot where Brix had started. Two laps later he was up to seventh, however, as some of the cars ahead of his pitted.

The SunTrust No. 10 that eventually finished third went off course a bit later to move the Kodak car up to sixth place at the two-hour mark, nestled between Mark Patterson in the Shank No. 60 that eventually finished fourth and the Red Bull/Brumos No. 58 of David Donohue.

The No. 77 was still on rain tires and the rain started to let up a bit by lap 54, when the Kodak car was in 12th place. Doran wisely brought the car in on lap 56 for a scuffed set of slicks and fuel. After the stop Borcheller was in 16th, but he was now better equipped for the current track conditions.

The team pitted again for fuel only on lap 66 under a yellow for a Porsche that ended up in the tire wall off Turn 10. Others pitted too, and on lap 69 the team was up to eighth place again. It was still in that spot on lap 72 at the half-way point, running between Patrick Long in the Ruby Tuesday car and Boris Said in the car that eventually won, the Krohn Racing No. 76.

The team had a little drive-through penalty at that point but the big problem was the track was very slippery. The team pitted again under a full-course yellow on lap 88 for fuel, scrubbed rain tires and for Brix to get back in with about two hours and 22 minutes left in the race.

By lap 95 Brix was in 12th place and he was running between two hard-cha rgers: Al Unser Jr. and Scott Pruett. Ten laps later he was up to tenth place. Unser was still in front of him but behind him now was Ryan Dalziel in the Pacific Coast Motorsports No. 89.

Brix pitted for the final time on lap 118 for sticker slicks and for Borcheller to bring the car home. He was 10th before he pitted. After the stop Borcheller was back up to 12th by lap 125, running between Pruett and Marc Goossens in the CITGO No. 11, and only one hour remained.

Ten laps later with 40 minutes to go he broke back into the top 10 and on the next lap he moved up to ninth. From then on his goal was to try to catch Dalziel while keeping Unser at bay. He moved up one more spot and into eighth when Dalziel received a stop-and-go penalty with 8 minutes remaining. Borcheller then brought the car home in that spot, sandwiched between Pruett and Unser.

The race was broadcast live on SPEED. Following the winning Krohn Racing No. 76 of Jorg Bergmeister and Boris Said at the checkered was the GAINSCO No. 99 and the SunTrust No. 10.

There were eight cautions for 39 of the 154 laps the winner ran. There were also 20 lead changes among 12 different drivers.

The next race is June 24 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.

More information can be found on the Internet at doranracing.com, grandamerican.com, fordracing.com, tborcheller.com, harrisonbrix.com and feedstheneedracing.com.

Quotes follow:

Terry Borcheller: "The car ran like a champ and we stayed out of trouble. We got behind in a couple of instances, but some of the yellows played in our favor. The car and the team worked great. I'd say more but I have to leave right now for Le Mans!"

Harrison Brix: "My opening stint was pretty straightforward because the weather was pretty consistent, but it was very slippery in my second stint. Kevin [Doran, the team owner] made a great call with the rain tires and we were able to progress forward.

"Our great fuel mileage helped us again; we owe the Ford guys a lot.

"As far as incidents go, I had nothing major. The start was very tense though; the car was hit by other cars' parts but we made it through unscathed. As far as I know the car doesn't have a scratch on it, and that makes us all happy!"

-dr-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Ryan Dalziel , Boris Said , Al Unser Jr. , Scott Pruett , Marc Goossens , Rob Dyson , Doug Goad , Terry Borcheller , Hurley Haywood , Darren Law , David Donohue , Jörg Bergmeister , Patrick Long , Mark Patterson , Kevin Doran , Harrison Brix
Teams Krohn Racing , Doran Racing