Doran Racing signs South African Drivers and Sponsor for Daytona Team owner Kevin Doran was a bit skeptical when first approached with the idea of trying out a new package for a test and a race in mid-season. After all he already had a strong ...
Doran Racing signs South African Drivers and Sponsor for Daytona
Team owner Kevin Doran was a bit skeptical when first approached with the idea of trying out a new package for a test and a race in mid-season. After all he already had a strong driving lineup consisting of Memo Gidley and Brad Jaeger, a world renowned sponsor in McDonalds, and was sitting in the top-10 in points. What more could a team want in these difficult economic times, right? With the future in mind, and that mystical "what if" in the balance, Doran Racing decided to give South African Drivers Hennie Groenewald and Dion von Moltke a shot at the recent Mid Ohio test in their #77 Ford/Dallara Prototype.
With the use of Memo's data, and Brad on hand to assist these new drivers that the team had little knowledge of, they were off. Taking the 'walk before you run' approach to a new car, and for Groenewald a new circuit, they both started off the first time slowly getting used to their new surroundings. Each time out the drivers knocked off huge chunks of time and began approaching the times set up by the top Grand-Am Rolex Daytona Prototype teams on the day. For von Moltke, the circuit was nothing new, having just won the Koni Challenge ST Class the day prior. The drivers ended the test with some of the fastest times of the day, and a lasting impression on team owner Kevin Doran. Of the test Doran mentions; "Dion and Hennie really surprised me. They had a very professional approach to the test, showed very competitive times, and worked very well with each other and the team. I feel they both have very bright futures in this sport."
Following such an impressive first run, Doran decided it was worthwhile to continue the experiment at the Brumos Porsche 250 at Daytona and South African Airways wasted little time in coming on board to support the team and its drivers for the event to put Dion and Hennie in the #77 Doran Prototype. An excited Hennie exudes "I am really excited to get to drive the Doran DP at Daytona, as this is quite likely to be one of the bigger events to choose from, driving in front of the NASCAR crowd and so many spectators. After a very successful test in Mid Ohio both my teammate Dion and I are comfortable with the car. The ability and commitment from the Doran organization to put a competitive package together for Daytona. At the test the #77 McDonalds/South African Airways car showed all the potential for a podium performance at Daytona. This is really a huge opportunity for both of us to show that we are ready to deliver great results in this series and driving a DP car makes the experience so much better"
P1 Groupe Driver Dion von Moltke is proving the Grand-Am model can create the type of careers young racers everywhere are searching for. Starting last season in Koni Challenge ST Class, he has also competed in the GS class and Rolex GT with strong results as he steps up to the highest class in Grand-Am competition fresh off of back-to-back wins in the ST class this season.
"I have had an absolutely amazing June, with two solid wins in Koni ST in the APR Golf GTi, and a test in the Doran #77 at Mid-Ohio, which was an incredible success for everyone! Now we go into the July 4th weekend with some serious momentum. I am thrilled to be making my Daytona Prototype debut with Doran Racing. Kevin Doran runs a top notch program and it is a perfect fit for Hennie and I." von Moltke continues; "This was my first time in a DP, but I felt right at home in the Dallara chassis -- the car was super quick and a dream to drive. We hope to put on a fantastic show for our partners, South African Airways and McDonalds. Hennie and I have become good friends -- together we will give our fans in South Africa something to cheer for!"