WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (August 18, 2000) – Neither Rob Dyson nor Kevin Doran will need any directions on finding Victory Circle at Watkins Glen International. Both men have experienced the thrill of victory many times at the famed circuit, and will field the teams to beat in the August 25-27 Bosch Sports Car Summerfest, the season finale for the Grand American Road Racing Association.
Both Dyson and Doran are former winners of the Glen’s Six Hours, which will highlight the weekend, and both have teams battling for the championship. James Weaver, Dyson’s lead driver, leads the SportsRacer driver’s point standings, while Doran Racing holds a slim margin over Dyson in the Team Owner Program.
Doran was chief mechanic for the Lowenbrau Special Porsche 962 of Al Holbert and Derek Bell, which won four IMSA Camel GTP races at the Glen from 1984-86. He returned as team manager for Gianpierro Moretti’s Momo Ferrari 333SP, which won the 1994 Glen Continental three hours (with Eliseo Salazar and Moretti). Doran’s team and Moretti also won the Six Hours twice, in 1996 (with Max Papis) and 1998 (with Didier Theys and Mauro Baldi).
Dyson’s team won the 1997 Six Hours, with Elliott Forbes-Robinson and Butch Leitzinger at the wheel. The Poughkeepsie, N.Y.-based team also won the 1995 Glen Continental, with Weaver and Leitzinger driving. Dyson ended Doran’s three-year Camel Continental winning streak in 1987, with Price Cobb and Vern Schuppan co-driving Dyson’s Porsche 962.
“If we can win again, I’d be very pleased and proud,” said Doran. “We’d really like to win the Team Owner’s Program championship, and while Weaver leads the driver’s championship, it’s still possible for Didier (Theys) to win. This is the first time there has been a Team Owner championship in sports car racing since I’ve been involved with the sport, and it’s extremely important to win it.
“The Six Hours is a great event. The Glen’s a classic road racing circuit, and the Six Hours has plenty of history behind it. A true endurance race on a classic circuit is a great combination.”
Weaver and Leitzinger will join Andy Wallace in Dyson’s No. 16 Ford-powered Riley & Scott. Weaver has four victories in 2000, including a pair with Leitzinger at Lime Rock and Trois Rivieres, and with Wallace in the Paul Revere 250 at Daytona. Dyson will co-drive the No. 20 R&S Ford with Forbes-Robinson and John Paul Jr. “Watkins Glen has been very good to Dyson Racing over the years,” said Dyson. “We’ve won there many times in a variety of cars. The first race I ever drove was at the Glen in 1974, and I won it, in B Sedan at the SCCA Regionals. “The track is absolutely terrific. It’s one of the finest road courses in the country. It’s a delight to drive on the long course there, and it’s a fantastic place to race. This year’s competition is stronger than it’s been in a long time. The racing has been tight at all of the Grand-Am races. We had the top seven cars within seven-tenths of a second in our most recent race at Trois-Rivieres (Quebec), and that tells you something.”
Doran will also field two cars for the weekend. Theys will join Fredy Lienhard and Ross Bentley in the Doran Special, a Ferrari 333SP chassis powered by a Judd V-10 engine. The car has two victories to date, at Homestead-Miami Speedway and Road America. Dyson will also debut a Pontiac Grand Prix in the American GT class, driven by his brother, David Doran, and Tony Ave.
“David won the 1995 SCCA Sports 2000 national championship, and is coming off a full season driving ASA stock cars,” explained Doran. “The Six Hours will be a shakedown run for my new car, and I feel that class has a lot of potential for upcoming seasons.”
Practice for the Bosch Sports Car Summerfest begins at 9:30 a.m. on Friday. The Grand-Am GT qualifying race is set for 7:15 p.m., followed by the SportsRacer qualifying race at 8 p.m. The weekend also includes a three-hour Motorola Cup race on Saturday, the American City Racing League, and a pair of U.S. F2000 National Championship races. For tickets, call (607) 535-2481. For additional information, visit the official web site, www.grand-am.com.