Doran and the Labontes to Join Forces For Three Grand American Rolex Races Starting with This Weekend's Rolex 24 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Feb. 3 - Bobby Labonte, the only driver to win NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and Busch Series championships and the head of...
Doran and the Labontes to Join Forces For Three Grand American Rolex Races Starting with This Weekend's Rolex 24
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Feb. 3 - Bobby Labonte, the only driver to win NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and Busch Series championships and the head of Bobby Labonte Enterprises, and Kevin Doran, president of Doran Racing, plan to jointly field a car in three Grand American Rolex Series races in 2005.
Doran Labonte Racing's first event will be this weekend's Rolex 24 at Daytona International Raceway here, the most prestigious endurance sports car race in North America and an event that Doran Racing has already won twice.
The other two races will be the Paul Revere 250 at Daytona June 29-30 and the August 11-12 event at Watkins Glen, N.Y. Both of those races will be held in conjunction with NASCAR NEXTEL Cup events. Bobby Labonte drives the Interstate Batteries Chevy for Joe Gibbs Racing in NASCAR. His older brother, Terry Labonte, a two-time NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champion, is doing a limited NASCAR schedule in 2005 and 2006 with Hendrick Motorsports in the Kelloggs Chevy.
The Rolex Series Daytona Prototype will officially be registered as a Doran Labonte Racing entry. It is a bright red DORAN JE4 powered by a Pontiac engine, and carries No. 44. Doran Racing also fields the gold Crown Royal Special Reserve DORAN JE4 Lexus No. 77 of Didier Theys, Matteo Bobbi and Fabrizio Gollin.
Joining Bobby and Terry Labonte behind the wheel of the No. 44 in this weekend's twice-around-the-clock classic will be endurance sports car superstar Jan Magnussen and Indy Racing League IndyCar standout Bryan Herta.
The Labonte brothers and Magnussen will comprise the driver roster for the two shorter races this summer.
Doran said that he and the Labontes were looking at the possibility of adding a few more events too.
The primary sponsor of the No. 44 car will be announced soon. Associate sponsors include Lista, the worldwide leader in modular storage units, and MOMO, the world's premier manufacturer of high-performance products such as steering wheels, shift knobs and road wheels.
A 1/18th-scale die cast action model of the Doran Labonte Racing DORAN JE4 Pontiac No. 44 is scheduled to be produced. Details on that, including how to purchase one, will be announced soon.
Magnussen, Herta and Bobby Labonte will be making their first Rolex 24 starts this weekend. Terry Labonte will be making his eighth start in the race, winning the GTO class in 1984. The car's number, 44, is significant because it was the number he drove in winning his first NASCAR championship in 1984 and the number he'll use in NEXTEL Cup races this year and next.
Magnussen was a class winner at the 2004 24 Hours of Le Mans and at the 2004 Petit Le Mans with the factory Corvette team. He and Theys co-drove the Doran-Lista Racing DORAN JE4 Lexus to victory in the Sahlen's 200 at Watkins Glen, N.Y. last August. This weekend's race will be Magnussen's sixth start with the team. In his five previous races with the Lebanon, Ohio-based team he recorded one victory, one second and two fifths and had one DNF.
Herta, who helped Andretti Green Racing win the 2004 Indy Racing League Indy Car Series title, was one of Magnussen's teammates with the Panoz factory team in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) in 2002. He also competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans that year.
John Wright is the crew chief of the No. 44.
All of the Grand American Rolex Series races will be televised on SPEED.
For more information, please see www.doranracing.com and www.bobbylabonte.com. For more information on Lista, please see www.lista.com and www.listaintl.com. More information on MOMO can be found at www.momo.it.
Magnussen's Web site is at www.janmagnussen.com, while Herta's is located at www.herta.com.