Altamonte Springs, FL – Kevin Doran showed up at Daytona International Speedway looking to capture his second Rolex 24 At Daytona. The 2002 overall winner of the prestigious endurance race brought not only a driver lineup filled with some of the best drivers in the world, but he also brought with him a brand new Generation-3 Ford Dallara Daytona Prototype. Even though the finishing touches were being put on the Dallara as late as Thursday morning, the confidence and poise of Paul Tracy, Colin Braun, Jim Lowe and Jon Bennett did not waiver. The team of champions knew they had a lot of learning to do in a short period of time, but they were up to the challenge and showed well.
The team continued their methodical run through the early stages of the race as they moved through their driver lineup. Unfortunately for the Ohio-based team, during one of former CART Champ Car champion Paul Tracy’s stints he was forced off by a fellow Daytona Prototype team causing Tracy to spin in the grass just after the nine hour mark. The incident damaged the front bulkhead and floor, ripping the “clutch pedal” out of the car. It was an early exit for a team looking to contend for an overall victory, but there was valuable information gained as Doran Racing continues to develop their new Generation-3 into the dog days of the 2013 season.
“We had a very strong car,” Doran stated. “The entire crew worked extremely hard to get this car ready, and they finished in the eleventh hour. All of the drivers became comfortable with the car right off the bat, but it is also so difficult to get up to pace with everyone because they have already had a year of development. To only have hours with the new car and to have been in the lead for a length of time, I couldn’t be more proud of everyone. It’s awful that a minor incident turned into a retirement, but there’s not much we can do in that situation. Thank you to Paul, Jim, Jon, and Colin for begin a part of this. Even though we didn’t finish, we learned a great deal of information to move ahead with!”
“It was an unfortunate end to a really strong race for us,” Lowe stated. “The car ran great for the time that it did run, and to be honest, what ended our Rolex 24 was a freak accident. Paul was shoved off up in the “kink” by another prototype and went sliding through the grass. We didn’t really think anything was wrong with the car until Paul went to use the clutch and the pedals went to the floor. It’s too bad, but I’m very proud to be a part of this team. Kevin put together a great car, up until Thursday we were still mounting pieces on it. As a team we had a handicap since we only had hours with new the Generation-3 DP while other teams had a year. To have been in the lead at one point and tenth when trouble struck only proves that we had a highly competitive team and car. I couldn’t be happier and proud of the engineers and crew guys for the job they did preparing the #77. I also can’t thank Paul, Jon, and Colin enough for being a part of it!”
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