22 September 2003
Red Bull duo Grand-Am lead at Mont Tremblant.
The #58 Brumos Racing Red Bull Porsche FABCAR Daytona Prototype team got a little more breathing room in its race for the first-ever championship by winning the Six Heures du Circuit Mont-Tremblant in Canada on Saturday.
The team entered the six-hour enduro with a slim one-point lead over the #54 Bell Motorsports Chevy-powered Doran JE4 crew, but has now extending its margin to eight
points with the victory.
"We needed this win for a lot reasons - not just the championship points, but we needed the lift," said Red Bull driver David Donohue, who partnered Mike Borkowski and Sascha Maassen to take the win, "Our guys had done their homework. Our car was really good and reliable. The handling was really good. Dave Kylm has built a car that has been really solid since the first time it was rolled out on the track."
The Red Bull Porsche started the day in the pole position, but did battle with both Doran JE4s during its run at the front. First the #58 car fought for the lead with the Doran-Lista Racing Toyota-powered Doran JE4, before shifter trouble knocked the red car out of contention and eventually forced its retirement from the race. Then the Red Bull machine went nose-to-nose with the points rival #54 JE4, before that too fell victim to transmission trouble and lost 14 laps in the pits for repairs.
The #8 G&W Motorsports BMW Picchio DP2 Daytona Prototype of Darren Law, Andy Lally and Guy Cosmo threatened for a portion of the race, until a run-in with the #59 Brumos Racing Porsche resulted in suspension damage that dropped the car out of contention for the lead. The #8 machine was still able to hold on for a third-place finish in class - its best finish since round three in Phoenix.
"We needed this one very bad," Law admitted, having struggled with a loss of power steering early in the race, "I'm so tired. I'm so worked from the steering, but we hung in there. We came back from the suspension failure from the accident and were able to hang on and get on the podium. The car has gotten a lot better. Hopefully we'll improve on what we've been doing."
An off-track excursion by the #59 Brumos Racing Porsche sent it into the pits for an extended stop to remove debris, but the team was still able to persevere for a second-place finish overall, two laps behind its Red Bull team-mate.
"Finishing first and second is what we came here to do," said Hurley Haywood, who shared driving duties in the #59 Porsche with JC France and Max Papis to close the gap on Terry Borcheller to one point, "Of course, I would have liked to have it reversed, but at least we were able to catch up to second. That's what counts."
The #33 Ferrari of Washington 360GT was successful in defence of its GT class victory, scoring an extra $5,000 bonus from the Acxiom Grand Touring Challenge in the process. Drivers Cort Wagner and Brent Martini were able to hold off the #83 Rennwerks Motorsports Porsche GT3 RS of Johannes van Overbeek, Seth Neiman and Lonnie Pechnik to take the class win and third place overall after the two had battled for the class lead throughout the six-hour race.
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