Kevin Doran's Rolex 24 success expands to winning car manufacturer for '04. LEBANON, Ohio, Feb. 17 -- In his 20 years participating in the Rolex 24 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, Kevin Doran has been in victory lane as a crew chief ...
Kevin Doran's Rolex 24 success expands to winning car manufacturer for '04.
LEBANON, Ohio, Feb. 17 -- In his 20 years participating in the Rolex 24 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, Kevin Doran has been in victory lane as a crew chief (1986 and 1987), a team member (1989), a team manager (1998 and 2002) and a car owner (1998 and 2002). On Feb. 1 he added one more winning role to his resume: that of the winning car manufacturer. A DORAN JE4 that he designed and built through one of his companies, Doran Designs, won the race overall when the Bell Motorsports DORAN JE4 Pontiac took the checkered flag. What's more, another DORAN JE4 for which Doran is the owner and team manager, the Doran-Lista DORAN JE4 Lexus, finished second in the Daytona Prototype class, the top class of the Grand American Road Racing Association.
A third DORAN JE4 entered by Michael Shank Racing made its maiden event in this year's Rolex 24 and finished fourth in class. A fourth DORAN JE4 owned by G&W Motorsports is scheduled to debut at the next race, which will be held Feb. 28 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Fla.
The car count should continue to grow because it's crystal-clear that the DORAN JE4 is the most successful chassis to date in the Daytona Prototype class. Even though it was outnumbered three to one or two to one at most of the races last year, the marque still finished just 16 points behind Fabcar in the 2003 manufacturer standings. And it was a DORAN JE4 that took the division's top driver (Terry Borcheller) and the top team (Bell Motorsports) to their respective championships last year.
Daytona Prototype team owners who want to do well in future Rolex 24s should also note that a DORAN JE4 has won every race held at Daytona since the class's inception except for the inaugural event last year, and the chassis has finished first and second in the top class in the last two races held there.
Kevin Doran's unqualified success as a car manufacturer isn't surprising to anyone who knows him. Even before he started his own companies, he had some 19 poles and 23 victories in IMSA working as crew chief for the late Al Holbert. Since he formed his own companies, Doran Racing's percentage of top-10 finishes is over 80 percent; its percentage of top-five finishes is over 60 percent and its winning percentage is some 25 percent.
Doran-Lista Racing's lead driver, Didier Theys, won the driver's championship in 2002 in Grand American's top class that year, while Doran-Lista Racing finished second in the team standings for the third consecutive year.
In addition, the Doran Racing-prepared MOMO Ferrari team was 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).
The DORAN JE4 isn't the only car that Kevin Doran has designed and built; his Sports 2000 car won a SCCA national championship in 1995 and is still going strong today.
Kevin Doran's Rolex 24 highlights:
1986: Winning crew chief of Lowenbrau Special Porsche 962 driven by Al Holbert, Derek Bell and Al Unser Jr.
1987: Winning crew chief of Lowenbrau Special Porsche 962 team with drivers Al Holbert, Derek Bell, Chip Robinson and Al Unser Jr.
1989: Team member of the winning two-car Jim Busby Porsche 962 entry; the car driven by Bob Wollek, Derek Bell and John Andretti won, while Mario and Michael Andretti drove the other one.
1996: Car owner and team manager of the MOMO Ferrari which won the pole and finished second overall; drivers were Gianpiero Moretti, Bob Wollek, Didier Theys and Max Papis.
1998: Winning car owner and team manager of the MOMO Ferrari; drivers were Gianpiero Moretti, Arie Luyendyk, Mauro Baldi and Didier Theys. (Qualified second.)
1999: Finished third as an entrant with a Ferrari driven by Max Papis, Stefan Johansson, Jimmy Vasser and Jim Matthews.
2002: Winning car owner and team manager with the Doran-Lista Dallara Judd. Drivers were Didier Theys, Fredy Lienhard Sr., Mauro Baldi and Max Papis. (Also won the pole.)
2003: DORAN JE4 makes its debut as a Bell Motorsports entry; drivers are Terry Borcheller, who would go on to win the drivers' championship in it that year; Forest Barber, Didier Theys and Christian Fittipaldi. Car qualifies sixth but does not finish due to engine problems.
2004: Winning car manufacturer with his DORAN JE4s; finished first overall (Bell Motorsports; drivers: Terry Borcheller, Forest Barber, Andy Pilgrim and Christian Fittipaldi) and second in the Daytona Prototype class and fourth overall (Doran-Lista Racing; drivers: Didier Theys, Fredy Lienhard Sr., Jan Lammers and Marc Goossens). Car owner and team manager of the latter team too.
Doran Enterprises, Doran Racing and Doran Designs are located at 2050 McKinley Blvd., Lebanon, Ohio 45036. Its Web site is located at www.doranracing.com.