Road America: Doran Racing qualifying report

Doran Racing's Theys Is Just 1.005 Off the GT1 Pole With New Lista Maserati In Qualifying for Tomorrow's Generac 500 ALMS Race at Road America ELKHART LAKE, Wis., Aug. 10 - As expected, the two factory Corvettes finished first and second in GT1...

Doran Racing's Theys Is Just 1.005 Off the GT1 Pole With New Lista Maserati In Qualifying for Tomorrow's Generac 500 ALMS Race at Road America

ELKHART LAKE, Wis., Aug. 10 - As expected, the two factory Corvettes finished first and second in GT1 qualifying for the Generac 500 ALMS race Friday at Road America. Didier Theys and the Doran Racing crew were the ones who made the news, as Theys qualified just 1.005 off the pole and 0.919 off second place with a brand-new Doran Racing Maserati MC 12 that is only the second GT car Theys has competed in during his 30 years as a race car driver.

The Scottsdale, Ariz.-based driver, who has a very distinguished record racing Prototypes, didn't know what his times were as he logged them in the 20-minute GT1/GT2 qualifying session due to a technical problem. That didn't stop him from using his knowledge of Road America and his expertise behind the wheel of any race car to go faster each lap. Theys already had the press room taking notice with 5 minutes to go in the session, but the insiders were really impressed when he set his fastest lap on his sixth and final trip around the 4.048-mile, 14-turn road course, and did it with a lap that was so close to those posted by the multi-million dollar Corvette factory team.

The official qualifying time for the Lista, Making Workspace Work and Lista Office-sponsored No. 27 was a 2:01.978 for an average speed of 119.471 miles per hour. Jan Magnussen got the class pole with a 2:00.973 (120.463 mph) and Olivier Beretta was second with a 2:01.059 (120.378 mph).

Theys will be in the 16th starting spot overall when the four-hour race begins at 4 p.m. Central time tomorrow. The two factory Corvettes will be in 14th and 15th. After Theys' stint he'll hand the blue, Michelin-shod No. 27 off to car owner/driver Fredy Lienhard of Niederteufen, Switzerland.

With the great qualifying results, the well-respected Doran Racing crew of Lebanon, Ohio preparing the car and servicing it during pit stops, and with endurance sports car legend Kevin Doran directing it all and masterminding the race strategy from the pits, hopes are high for a good result in tomorrow's race despite the fact that the car is new to all involved.

Didier Theys

"The lap times weren't being displayed on the dash and our beacon wasn't working for some reason, so I had no idea what times we were running. So, I just pushed it as hard as I could. As the session progressed I found some places I could go faster.

"I just wish now that we had a day or two of testing to improve the car even more. If I had more experience in the car I would have jumped the rear wing a hole. Without the understeer we would have had another second.

"But the whole car is more stable than it was yesterday. We've made improvements every session.

"We're very pleased with the consistency of our Michelin tires. The compound we chose might have been too soft for this weather, but they were very consistent and I think it will be a good choice for the race.

"We don't have experience with this configuration, but we'll do our best. Our number one goal is still to finish the race. That is what is most important to us."

-credit: dr

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Jan Magnussen , Didier Theys , Fredy Lienhard , Olivier Beretta , Kevin Doran
Teams Doran Racing , HART