Short stuff Rand Racing is hoping to repeat its strong performance at Watkins Glen International when it returns for the second Rolex Sports Car Series race this season at the historic New York track. The team finished first and second in the...
Rand Racing is hoping to repeat its strong performance at Watkins Glen International when it returns for the second Rolex Sports Car Series race this season at the historic New York track. The team finished first and second in the SRPII class at Watkins Glen in June and, more important, notched third and fourth overall.
With eight wins in as many races to date, the rookie team is ready for another victory. SRPII points leader Terry Borcheller of Phoenix will lead the charge, driving the No. 8 Rand Racing Nissan Lola with Anthony Lazzaro of Acworth, Ga. The No. 7 Lola will be driven by Niclas Jönsson of Aliso Viejo, Calif., and Bill Rand of Plano, Tex.
The location is the same, but the Aug. 9 race will bear little resemblance to the June 23 event at Watkins Glen. The race length this time will be 2.5 hours, instead of six. The race is scheduled for Friday evening, rather than Sunday afternoon. And it will run on the 2.45-mile road course, rather than the 3.40-mile configuration used in June.
"It's a real challenging track, no matter which configuration you run," Lazzaro said. "The short is faster because you're doing less distance, and it's a little bit more forgiving, but they're both really fun. One cool thing about the short course is turn five - it's one big 180-degree turn that's really, really fast. It takes strong neck muscles because the car creates so much downforce and so much grip. It's very physical to drive."
Lazzaro has also raced a NASCAR Winston Cup car at Watkins Glen. "The Cup cars are really quick around there - it's a very, very fast road-racing track for a Winston Cup car," he said. "They have a lot of horsepower, so the biggest problem is getting them to stop. With the Lola, you don't have near the horsepower so you don't have near the top speed, and you have tremendous braking and tremendous cornering ability."
Jönsson says less time and track for this race means more work. "This race is going to be a little bit more intense because it's just half the distance and also it's a shorter track, so there will be 'way more traffic to deal with," he noted. "But I think it will play in my own and my teammates' favor because we work traffic pretty well."
Jönsson is happy to be back racing with Bill Rand, who missed the last race. "I'm really looking forward to running with my team owner, Bill Rand," he said. "I see a lot of talent and potential there - in the 24 hours at Daytona this year, he was running strong and very smart, and making wise moves. That's really what determines a talented driver."