VIR/CHARITY: Doran-Lista pit crew members do bike ride

Doran-Lista Pit Crew Members to Participate in Lance Armstrong Foundation's Charity Bike Ride ALTON, Va., Oct. 1 - With three races on the schedule, October is a busy month for everyone associated with the Grand American Rolex series, including...

Doran-Lista Pit Crew Members to Participate in Lance Armstrong Foundation's Charity Bike Ride

ALTON, Va., Oct. 1 - With three races on the schedule, October is a busy month for everyone associated with the Grand American Rolex series, including the pit crew members.

This weekend the series is at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) in Alton, Va.

Oct. 10-11 the circuit travels to Birmingham International Raceway in Birmingham, Ala.

Halloween weekend will be spent at California Speedway in Fontana.

Since most pit crew members have full-time jobs in addition to their weekend duties at the race track, many of them plan to spend the weekend of Oct. 16-17 getting caught up with their families and friends or simply running errands, doing odd jobs around the house, etc.

Martin Raffauf and Jerry Woods, two members of the Doran-Lista Racing team, which has fielded the fastest car in every Rolex series race held at VIR, have other plans.

They've been training for months now to do something else that weekend - the 100-mile "Ride for the Roses" bicycle marathon in Austin, Texas on Sunday, Oct. 17 to benefit the Lance Armstrong Foundation for cancer treatment and research.

Both men live in California; Raffauf in San Carlos and Woods in Campbell. Raffauf is a technical consultant for IBM, while Woods owns a Porsche repair, restoration and engine-building business. When Didier Theys or one of his co-drivers makes a pit stop in the Doran-Lista DORAN JE4 Lexus #27 on race weekends, however, Raffauf and Woods are among the Doran-Lista crewmembers who man-handle the approximately 37-lb. Goodyear slicks and send the car back on its way.

That's all good training for the bike ride, and vice versa.

"Several of us from here are going on the bike ride, as well as Tom Seabolt, Grand American's director of operations," Raffauf said. "[Rolex series driver] Max Papis and Don Hayward, Grand American's chief engineer for the Daytona Prototype class, may also go with us."

Ride for the Roses is one of the most important events in American cycling. Last year the event raised more than $4.5 million for the Lance Armstrong Fo undation's cancer survivorship programs and grants. Each participant must raise at least $100, and both Raffauf and Woods will accept donations on behalf of the charity. Another way to support the effort is to purchase yellow "Live Strong" wristbands, which can be ordered at the foundation's store on the Internet at www.laf.org.

The Ride for the Roses begins at 8 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 17 and goes until 5 p.m. Distances range from 6 to 100 miles, with volunteers, cycling celebrities and cancer survivors all joining Armstrong as he leads them on a ride through the Austin countryside. The ride begins at the Travis County Expo and Heritage Center, and thousands are expected.

Raffauf and Woods have been training to do all 100 miles. Long-distance bicycle events aren't anything new to this pair.

Last summer Woods did the "Death Ride," one of the West's premier endurance cycling events. Beginning and ending at Turtle Rock Park north of Markleeville, Calif., that ride consists of 129 miles over five or six mountain passes reaching an elevation of 16,000 feet.

For more information on the Ride for the Roses, see www.laf.org. For more information on Doran-Lista Racing, see www.lista.com, www.listaintl.com and www.doranracing.com.

Sunday's race at VIR is scheduled to begin at noon Eastern time. It will be broadcast live on SPEED.

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Series Grand-Am
Drivers Didier Theys , Max Papis