SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (January 23, 2003) -- Since he won the 2002 Rolex Sports Car Series SportsRacing Prototype driver championship in November, Doran Lista Racing's lead driver, Didier Theys, has been honored internationally and nationally.
On Wednesday morning, Mayor Mary Manross of Scottsdale, Ariz., issued a proclamation in recognition of the accomplishments of her town's adopted favorite son, a native of Belgium who has lived in this suburb of Phoenix full time since 1995. Phoenix International Raceway President Bryan Sperber was also on hand for the announcement, which recognized Theys who finished second at the UnitedAuto 200 at PIR last April.
On Dec. 18 Theys received the equivalent of Belgium's "Driver of the Year" award, which was presented by the Royal Automobile Club of Belgium, the governing body for the sport in that country. He was selected for this honor by a secret vote of the club members, and received a trophy and a standing ovation from approximately 2,000 on-lookers at the awards ceremony at Le Palais des Expositions du Heysel in Brussels.
"Many great drivers have won this award in the past, such as Jackie Ickx, Thierry Bourtsen and Paul Frere, so it's very nice to be included in this group," Theys said.
In December the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association also named Theys to the second team of the 2002 Auto Racing All-America Team. He was also honored at the Rolex Sports Car Series 2002 Salute to the Champions in January, where he received an engraved Rolex Oyster Perpetual Daytona Cosmograph watch in stainless steel and 18K gold, as well as a framed pastel portrait of himself and the Doran Lista #27 Judd Dallara by artist Dr. Beth Beckner-Mills.
Theys will begin his 2003 racing season at the 41st Rolex 24 At Daytona, February 1-2, piloting the new Doran JE4 Daytona Prototype of Bell Motorsports. Theys will partner with Christian Fittipaldi, Terry Borcheller and Forest Barber in the Chevy-powered Daytona Prototype for North America's most famous endurance race, which Theys has captured top honors at twice including last year.
Tickets for the 41st Rolex 24 At Daytona are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling the Speedway ticket office at 386-253-RACE. SPEED Channel will provide 16 hours of live coverage of the Rolex 24 on Saturday, Feb. 1, 12:30 p.m.-9 p.m. ET, and Sunday, Feb. 2, 6 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. ET.
Additional information about the Rolex 24 At Daytona and the Rolex Sports Car Series is available online at www.grandamerican.com.