Hard Work and Tenacity Keeps BAR1 in the Running at Belle Isle

Hats of to the BAR1 crew and drivers for the ‘never-say-quit’ attitude displayed during the weekend at Belle Isle for the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic presented by the Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers, round five of the IMSA  WeatherTech Championship.

The team faced down adversity all through practice, losing the second session to repairs. With only qualifying and the morning warm-up to sort out an ill-handling car, the team did a great job running on the pace for Saturday’s 100 minute feature.

But it was all driver’s Tomy Drissi and Johnny Mowlem could handle on the rough track and yellow plagued race. The team took consolation bringing the No. 20 Jason Bourne / Southwest Funding prototype home 5th and in one piece.

”It was a tough race,” Brian Alder said. “Street courses are always a battle for survival. And, this was our first time running the Detroit course. We weren’t privy to the data other teams gathered last year, so we were starting from scratch.”

“This was also Johnny’s [Mowlem] first time running here,” Brian added. “So he had the additional challenge of learning the track in a very short time.”

“We made progress each session,” continued Brian. “Unfortunately, these short two day events don’t allow for a lot of practice or track time.”

“The hard work paid off, though,” said Alder. “Toward the end of the race we had the car dialed in and we were running competitively. A great pit stop and clever strategy by the team helped us pick up and maintain track position. When we look at the positives, we’re pleased with our efforts and looking forward to Watkins Glen.”

In a display of sportsmanship, even with problems of their own, BAR1 made time to help rival JDC Miller Racing repair their badly damaged No. 85 PC car. An accident in warmup resulted in left-front tub damage to the car, and looked to put the Minnesota-based team out of action. They had entered the weekend tied for the championship lead.

After the original chassis was ruled out, the team found that BAR1 Motorsports had a spare chassis on-site and quickly came to terms to arrange a lease for the weekend. Members of the BAR1 team, including team owner Alder, helped in the teardown and assembly of the car, which meant the rear-end of the JDC-Miller car was mated with BAR1’s tub. This was all completed in record time, allowing JDC to start the race just after the green flag. This provided enough time for the team complete the necessary 35 minutes track time in order to score points.

Next up for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen on Sunday, July 3 at the historic Watkins Glen International circuit. The race also represents the third round of the 2016 Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup.

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