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ALABAMA -- This weekend the GRAND-AM Rolex Series returns to Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama for the Porsche 250. After a solid start to the season, Burt Frisselle, co-driver of the AIM Autosport Ford Riley talks about the challenges of the track at Barber and what it’s like to compete against his brother.
Q. YOU HAVE HAD A GREAT START TO YOUR SEASON FINISHING IN THE TOP TEN AT THE ROLEX 24 AND FINISHING IN THE TOP FIVE AT HOMESTEAD.
A. Yes, we’re happy. We’re thrilled to be up in fourth in the championship, so we’re really happy with the points. Now we just have to get up on that podium and win this race down in Alabama. It’s a long season, relatively. We know that every race is important. Neither Mark [Wilkins] nor I have ever had a start like this in the points. It’s always like we’re coming back. This year we’re starting with some momentum. Mark went down and won in his class at Sebring, so we’re really riding some good momentum here. We’ve got to get down to Barber and let them have it.
Q. BARBER IS NOT AS WIDE OPEN AS OTHER TRACKS. IS IT ONE OF THE TOUGHER TRACKS YOU RACE ON?
A. It’s a pretty technical track. I believe it was designed for motorcycles. It’s probably one of the most beautiful facilities we race at but it is tight, so passing is tough and obviously working GT traffic becomes critical, particularly near the end of the race, that’s where you’re really battling for position. Those are the two things that are different from tracks like Daytona or Homestead where we ran at earlier where you have so much of the Oval to take advantage of. Here you’ve got to really time things well so you don’t get caught out.
Q. WHAT DO YOU DO WITH ALL OF THE TIME YOU HAVE OFF DURING THE RACES?
A. They spend a lot of time going through the car. They’ve been working very hard to make sure we’re keeping our weight down this year, which is great. I know they’ve had a few show appearances that they’ve done with the car for this last month. This I believe is our longest stretch between races. It gets tough because you come out of the race in Homestead and the first thing that you want to do is go race the next weekend. For the drivers, we train really hard. We obviously watch a lot of the racing on TV and try to stay mentally prepared for our next race.
Q. YOUR BROTHER RACES FOR MICHAEL SHANK RACING. WHAT IS IT LIKE GOING UP AGAINST HIM?
A. It’s great. I have to say, in terms of everyone else out there, we’re rooting for each other but we’re also super competitive with each other. At Homestead he had an incident on the first lap, and it hurts you. You’re bummed for him, but you’ve got to go and do your job. It’s great to have family in the series. We’re best friends off the track, my brother and I, and we’re great competitors on the track. I’m a fan of his and he’s a fan of mine, but come race day the gloves come off and we just got to do what’s best for our team.
Q. BOTH OF YOU HAVE THAT FORD ROUSH-YATES POWER UNDER THE HOOD. THEY’VE BEEN WORKING HARD TO GIVE YOU THE MOST POWER OUT ON THE RACE TRACK.
A. They’re the best. I wouldn’t want to work with any other guys than the Ford Roush-Yates guys. They’re dedicated to their craft. They provide unbelievable reliability and the power is wonderful. We our working on stepping up our game with some of the engines Ganassi has under their hood now, but I always know with Ford, they’ll always keep digging and we’ll always have some of the best power in the pack.