rain race Terry Borcheller enjoyed a strong Rolex Sports Car Series race at Watkins Glen International on Friday evening, but just missed a podium finish as two competitors gambled on tire strategy and moved ahead in the final minutes of the ...
Terry Borcheller enjoyed a strong Rolex Sports Car Series race at Watkins Glen International on Friday evening, but just missed a podium finish as two competitors gambled on tire strategy and moved ahead in the final minutes of the race.
Borcheller, of Gainesville, Ga., and Oliver Gavin of Northampton, England, shared the No. 54 Bell Motorsports Pontiac-powered Doran JE4 in the two-hour race. They started sixth on the grid, which was set by team points when the Thursday qualifying session was cancelled due to wet conditions on the 2.45-mile road course.
Gavin drove the first race stint and moved to third before handing off to Borcheller at 45 minutes, as heavy rain started to fall. Borcheller returned to the track in fourth place, took the lead at 1h18, then dropped back to second at 1h30. Although the track was drying, he opted to stay on rain tires, matching strategy with the race-leading cars of Max Angelelli and Scott Pruett. Borcheller passed Pruett, but two other competitors opted for dry tires and charged through the field, relegating him to fourth in the last five minutes of the race.
"We were on wets and we debated," Borcheller said. "I opted to stay on the wets because Pruett and Angelelli did, and I felt that there wasn't enough time to have to start from the back. I also knew that we would have to pass all the slower GT and SGS cars off-line and I thought it was too wet off-line. It was a heck of a drive by [race winner Jan] Magnussen and [second-place Burt] Frisselle."
back on pace
After winning the 2003 Rolex Series driver and team championships, the Bell team has struggled this season. Their luck started to change at Watkins Glen.
"It was a very productive weekend," Borcheller noted. "The team did a really good job from the setbacks at Daytona and Mid-Ohio, and the car here was a top-running car. The race was a heck of a show - I can't wait to watch it on TV! I never get to see any of them, but I'm going to go back and see this one."
Borcheller will drive the No. 63 ACEMCO Motorsports Saleen S7R in an American Le Mans Series race at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis., on Aug. 22.