Brian Frisselle Finishes Fifth in Harrowing Race at VIR
(Alton, VA) 14 May 2011
– Brian Frisselle scored a career best finish at Virginia International Raceway and season's best finish with a fifth place result in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Bosch Engineering 250. The race began amid a heavy downpour and would remain wet offline through to the end of the race. It was an incident-filled affair, but Frisselle's drive in the Office Depot Doran Racing No. 77 Ford Dallara was entirely rock solid.
Running as high as second place through the middle portion of the 2.75 hour race, Frisselle took over from co-driver Henri Richard just past the 30 minute mark. The rain abated soon after the start of Frisselle's stint; however, the conditions remained both challenging and treacherous with low grip and visibility adding to the tension.
"The rain was brutal. It was very hard to see because of the spray being kicked up by the other cars, also, with the mud on track. I couldn't tell where the grip was; I couldn't see out, or my mirrors – it was like racing by brail," said Frisselle. "As it started to dry off and I finally got the tear off from the windshield, it was nicer to go racing in the drier conditions."
Frisselle was forced to relinquish second place when he pitted for the final time. Upon returning to the race in seventh position, he soon made up ground to fifth place where he would remain for the balance of the race.
"I was definitely concerned about the No. 10 car (when he was running in second place) because they were pretty close behind and I knew they had to take less fuel on the next stop. Just as I thought, they ended up getting out of the pits quite sooner than we did," recalled Frisselle. "Then we got them and slotted back into third or fourth. I thought we had a good shot at a podium finish. Unfortunately, due to the No. 9 being lucky with yellows and my getting roughed up by Darren Law late in the race, it just wasn't in the cards."
The Office Depot Doran Racing squad started the weekend off on their back foot. A pair of mechanical problems cut into their practice time, compounded by the fact that Frisselle's co-driver Richard had never driven on the circuit. The team abandoned qualifying after Richard suffered some minor car damage after an off course excursion during his final practice.
Yet against the odds, Frisselle and the entire Doran squad acquitted themselves well, staying the course with a trouble-free drive while many others ran into problems.
"Henri did a great job of keeping the car on the track in extremely difficult conditions, and he did better than most out there so hats off to him in his first time ever driving the Daytona Prototype in the wet. It was just a good job by the whole Doran Racing team. They should be very proud of this top-five," added Frisselle.
He now moves into 20th position in the points, looking ahead to Lime Rock Park, the site of the next race. He has an abundance of experience at the Northwest Connecticut track dating back to his early single-seater racing days.
"This has been a very tough year for this team so far and given how the weekend started out it seemed like we were heading down the same track, but coming out of here with a top-five finish and a shot at the podium, it feels good. So we'll come back for the next one and be even stronger. Can't wait for Lime Rock."
The next round for the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series is the Memorial Day Classic at Lime Rock Park, May 27-30.
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Established in 1995, AIM Autosport operates multi-car teams competing in the Formula BMWUSA Championship and the Star Mazda Series. The company has a mandate to identify, train and manage emerging motorsport talent. AIM has provided many young drivers with a solid foundation on which to build a career in professional racing. The success of the AIM driver development programs has been achieved through the dedication of our employees and the ongoing support of our commercial and technical partners.
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