Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
Office Depot Doran Racing Strategy Doesn’t Pan Out for Frisselle
Brian Frisselle and his Office Depot Doran Racing squad attempted a risky strategy in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Continental Tire Sports Car Festival Powered by Mazda race. Up to now, Frisselle’s co-driver Henri Richard has driven the first stint before turning over to Frisselle. Richard is an accomplished gentleman racer and a Rolex Series rookie who shows great potential. But, with such an aggressive field of talented racers, the No.77 Office Depot machine has found itself responding to a larger than desired deficit by the time Frisselle gets behind the wheel.
As a result, the team opted for an unusual strategy. Frisselle would start and finish the race at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca with Richard driving the middle stint.
With Frisselle behind the wheel at the start the No. 77 Ford Dallara, having qualified a season best fourth, was running strongly during the opening segment of the two hour and forty-five minute race.
Richard took over the driving duties for the middle portion with good track position which he was able to preserve. Unfortunately, during the second pit stop, when Frisselle was to return to duty, Richard was unable to get the race car into neutral gear for the second driver change, costing valuable time in the pits. He was eventually successful and able to hand the car over to Frisselle, but at that point valuable track position had been lost.
The No. 77 slid down to ninth place where it would finish the race.
“I made a good start, keeping the No.99 and the No.01 in sight for much of my stint and then Henri drove a great, consistent stint, so it looked like our strategy may work out. Unfortunately, when the car would not go into neutral gear, that cost us a lot of time. If we wouldn’t have needed to make the driver change, that wouldn’t have been a big deal. But, since it’s not possible to change drivers with the car in first gear, that’s where the risk in the two driver change strategy came into play,” Frisselle explained.
Still, he drew a silver lining.
“We made some developments with the set up that improved our speed and gave us quite a boost. As a result, I think we’ve closed the gap to the front running cars quite a bit,” he added.
By: frisselle racing