After months of effort with a new car, Terry Borcheller finally claimed first place in the Rolex Sports Car Series driver standings with a solid win at Virginia International Raceway last weekend.

The Phoenix-based driver now has a three-point lead in the championship, with one race - and 35 points - remaining this season.

Ex-pat British sportscar ace Andy Pilgrim joined Borcheller for the Virginia race, driving the #54 Bell Motorsports Doran JE4 after usual co-driver Forest Barber - who practiced in the car - asked him to substitute in the race to give the team an extra edge.

Pilgrim qualified second on the grid at the 3.27-mile road course, but started from the pole position when the pole car's qualifying time was disallowed. The ALMS regular drove the first 50 minutes of the two-hour-and-45-minute race, before Borcheller took on the second stint, returning to the track in third place. He quickly moved to second place and held the position throughout, with the exception of during a mid-race fuel stop. The #54 car then took the race with just over half an hour to run and stayed ahead to the chequered flag.

"This win was especially gratifying," Borcheller said, "Andy was with us at Mont-Tremblant and came to VIR to help with the set-up. Forest did a great job in practice - he was fast and his times were really competitive - but he just opted to take advantage of Andy's experience. He wanted to give the team the best possible scenario to win the race. It was a real selfless act."

Borcheller and Barber raced together in the Grand-Am Cup on Saturday - but it was not one of the team's better races.

Barber qualified ninth in the GSII class in the Bell Motorsports BMW M3, before starting the race and working up to second in class before heading in for a fuel stop after 73 minutes of the three-hour race. Unfortunately, the car ran out of fuel before it reached the pits, leaving Barber stalled on track and, even though the crew sprinted over with fuel, the team lost eight laps. Borcheller took the wheel at the halfway point and set the fastest GSII race lap as he drove to an eleventh-place class finish.

"The Cup race was extremely disappointing," Borcheller reported, "Forest drove a great race, but he ran out of gas on the lap that we were bringing him into the pits. The window of opportunity is so small with the BMW because it's a stock fuel tank. It doesn't bobble - when it's out of gas, it's out. We had about a half-mile from the first burble until it was out of gas. But it says a lot for the team to be able to get fuel out there quickly."

 

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