Gollin, Bobbi Sign with Doran Racing for 2005 Rolex Series
LEBANON, Ohio, Dec. 15 - Doran Racing is pleased to announce that it has signed the champions of the last two FIA GT world championships to drive one of its DORAN JE4s in the complete 2005 Grand American Rolex Series.
Fabrizio Gollin, who tied with his teammate, Luca Cappellari, for the 2004 FIA GT world driver championship, and Matteo Bobbi, who finished second in the series this year and won the championship in 2003, will drive a Doran Racing DORAN JE4 in all 14 Grand American Rolex Series races next year. The car will be powered by a Lexus engine and will carry the number 77.
Primary sponsorship for the entry will be announced soon, as will the name of one additional driver who will share the car with Gollin and Bobbi in the prestigious Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. Feb. 3-6.
In Europe both men have been part of the famed BMS Scuderia Italia team, competing in Ferrari 550 Maranello Prodrives.
Kevin Doran and Doran Racing have had much success in the past with that marque, most notably with one of the most famous endurance sports cars in history, the Ferrari 333 SP. With that car Doran Racing became the first and only team in U.S. history to win the 24 Hours at Daytona, the 12 Hours of Sebring and the Watkins Glen Six-Hour race in the same year (1998).
Gollin, who was born on March 28, 1975 in Camposanpiero, Italy and now resides in Castelfranco Veneto, posted three victories enroute to the 2004 FIA GT championship for the BMS Scuderia Italia team, including the prestigious 24 Hours of Spa in Belgium. He received his prize from the FIA in a glittering ceremony in Monaco last Sunday. He has competed in that series since 2002. Before that he raced in Formula 3000, Formula 3 and Formula Europa Boxer. He is sponsored in part by the Frezza Group, a leading office and home furniture company.
Bobbi was born on July 2, 1978 in Milan and currently resides in Monte Carlo, Monaco. He has won eight of his last 20 FIA GT races. This year he also competed in a Ferrari 360 Modena in the American Le Mans Series' GT division at the 12 Hours of Sebring. Two years ago he became a test driver for the Minardi Formula 1 team and also competed in the San Marino Grand Prix. That year he also finished second in the Formula Nissan 2000 European championship with six victories for the Vergani team.
Both men will immediately fly to Florida to test one of the team's DORAN JE4s at Homestead-Miami Speedway this weekend. Both are very excited to be joining one of the most successful teams in American endurance sports car racing. They plan to move to the United States for the 2005 season.
"I'm every excited to race in the United States; it's a new challenge for me," Gollin said. "I am very impressed with how the Daytona Prototype class has grown in the last two years. I'm sure that this will be a big step forward for my career."
"Some people will be very surprised to learn that I left Ferrari in order to compete in a DORAN Lexus in Grand American's Daytona Prototype division, but racing in America has always been my dream since I was a kid," noted Bobbi. "I know Kevin Doran's excellent reputation and his achievements with both the Ferrari 333 and the Dallara, and I'm looking forward to driving his DORAN JE4."
"Both Gollin and Bobbi have solid resumes, and I'm sure they'll be a great addition to the Grand American Rolex Series," Doran said. "We're looking forward to a competitive 2005 season, and especially the Rolex 24."
For more information, Doran Racing's Web site is at www.doranracing.com. The team won the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona in 1998 and 2002 and one of its drivers, Didier Theys, won Grand American's Sports Racing Prototype championship in 2002. Another one of Kevin Doran's companies, Doran Designs, produces the DORAN JE4 chassis, one of the leading cars in the current Daytona Prototype class. A DORAN JE4 won the Daytona Prototype team championship last year, and DORAN JE4s finished first overall and first and second in class at this year's Rolex 24.
The series' Web site can be found at www.grandamerican.com. The FIA GT Web site is at www.fiagt.com. Gollin's Web site is located at www.eventssport.com, while Bobbi's is at www.matteobobbi.com.