It was a day of bright sunlight, smashed headlights, flying fur, and unfortunate get-togethers at the Watkins Glen International race circuit during the running of the Crown Royal 250 event on the Grand American Road Racing Rolex Sports Car Series...
It was a day of bright sunlight, smashed headlights, flying fur, and unfortunate get-togethers at the Watkins Glen International race circuit during the running of the Crown Royal 250 event on the Grand American Road Racing Rolex Sports Car Series schedule. The increasingly popular Daytona Prototypes once again shared the race track with the GT class cars. But some of the 39 cars (Correction, make that 39 cars and one groundhog) in the field failed to remember the simple axiom that two physical bodies can not occupy the same space at the same time.
It was a law of physics that Hugo Guénette and Terry Borcheller - driving the #15 CB Motorsports / DLGL Software Pontiac-Riley - made sure they never forgot and that allowed them to thread ever so carefully through or around the debris-strewn race track and take home a solid 4th place finish.
Team owner Chris Bingham could not be at the Glen for this round of the 2005 schedule due to important business commitments. Veteran racer Terry Borcheller was brought in to take his place when his regular ride, the Kodak-Bell Motorsports entry, had to be withdrawn from the entry list. It was an outstanding choice for the CB Motorsports team as Mr. Borcheller used all of his considerable talent to keep the team in the hunt right to the end.
Bingham: "The whole team did an awesome job! And how Hugo and Terry managed to avoid all the wrecks that did-in so many other good cars and teams is hard to figure out. It had to be a combination of incredible luck and driving talent that let our car miss so many incidents and stay clear of trouble. I can't say enough about the heads-up driving and effective team strategy we had going for us today."
In the early stages of the race Hugo Guénette kept the team's chances alive by running consistent trouble-free laps and staying close to the front of the pack. As car after car either rubbed a wall or bumped a fellow competitor, Guénette managed to stay out of trouble until he could bring the car in and hand over the 'defensive driving' chores to Borcheller.
Borcheller: "Wow! It was a nice treat that things went our way the whole race from the car, the team, Hugo my co driver, the yellows, and all the way around. I hope to drive this car again. My thanks go out to all the guys!"
A massive pile up occurred at the top of the esses late in the race and a number of cars from both classes were taken out of competition. Borcheller was able to steer around the heart of the crash scene and keep the car out of harm. Considering how many cars were caught up in the disaster, coming right after a restart with the field all running in a tight pack, any and all drivers who made it through cleanly are to be commended. At the very least they should consider themselves lucky.
One unlucky 'entrant', who did not appear on the official entry list, was a local Watkins Glen area community inhabitant - wearing a full length fur coat on a sunny fall day - who made the regrettable decision to cross in front of "Mad Max" Angelelli at a most inopportune time.
With just a few laps remaining in the race, and a determined Scott Pruett in the #01 CompUSA - Ganassi Racing Lexus-Riley riding his rear bumper, Angelelli was on the back straight flying along at or near top speed when a "Mr. Groundhog" attempted to 'pass' him. He ran across the track with all four furry paws working feverishly to build enough speed to get him to the other side. but Max was faster.
The resulting impact removed a portion of the body work on the #10 SunTrust car, including the right front headlight. Unfortunately, Mr. Groundhog's entire fur coat was torn into pieces. And of course, he was still wearing it at the time.
But Max was able to continue on and keep Pruett behind him, eventually taking the race win, which moved him and co-driver Wayne Taylor closer to clinching the season long championship.
The #15 car is sponsored by DLGL HRIS Software and the Key Bank/McDonald Financial Group. Both sponsors had to feel elated that the accidents that led to six full course cautions never included the blue and white Pontiac- Riley. And having their favorite car finish in fourth place, on the lead lap and just under 9 seconds behind the race winning - and championship leading #10 SunTrust car - surely was cause for celebration. This was the highest finishing position for the team this season and they saw the checkered flag wave with just 0.49 seconds between them and a podium placing.
Guénette:" What a great finish! Things seem to be going our way the last couple of races. Once again the team did an awesome job, and it was a real pleasure to co drive with Terry."
Bingham: "It was an incredible finish for us. We came so close to finishing third. I think a key decision - one that made up for our bad call in Phoenix - was to take on fuel only in the remaining laps. That put us up front. I think it was the move of the race, not to mention Terry and Hugo's great display of driving!"
The next race on the schedule is the VIR 400 on October 9th at Virginia International Raceway located just outside of Danville, Virginia.