Birmingham: Doran-Lista race report

Doran-Lista Finishes Fifth at Barber Motorsports Park BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Oct. 10 - The Doran-Lista team gambled that rain tires would give it an advantage in the late stages of the Porsche 250 Rolex series race Sunday at Barber Motorsports Park.

Doran-Lista Finishes Fifth at Barber Motorsports Park

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Oct. 10 - The Doran-Lista team gambled that rain tires would give it an advantage in the late stages of the Porsche 250 Rolex series race Sunday at Barber Motorsports Park. Some late cautions hampered the team's efforts, but Andrea Montermini still crossed the finish line in fifth place both overall and in the Daytona Prototype class in the event, which was presented by Bradley Arant.

Lead driver Didier Theys drove the first 24 laps of the two-hour-and-45-minute, 87-lap race, which was televised live on SPEED. Rain fell throughout the event from spritzes to drizzles, and Theys had his hands full while driving on Goodyear slicks.

Montermini actually was as high as second at one point around lap 50 due to some pit stop shuffling. The team brought him in on lap 59 to put rain tires on the Doran-Lista DORAN JE4 Lexus, hoping that would give him an advantage if the rain got worse.

Montermini was in eighth, seventh and then sixth, and he cracked into the top five by passing the eventual third-place finisher on lap 80. He got fourth for just an instant, but then he spun on lap 81. He quickly regrouped and was back in sixth place, ready to charge back up the scoreboard at the end. He never got that chance due to another yellow, however, when the third-place Bell Motorsports DORAN JE4 was involved in an accident. That moved him up from sixth to fifth at the checkered.

The only other contender that elected to go to rain tires was the CITGO Howard Boss Crawford Pontiac of Andy Wallace and Milka Duno, which ended up sixth.

The race was won by the Boss Snowplow Crawford Pontiac of Elliott Forbes-Robinson and Butch Leitzinger.

The G&W Motorsports DORAN JE4 was eighth. The Bell Motorsports DORAN JE4 ended up 22nd due to its accident. The Michael Shank Racing DORAN JE4 was also involved in an accident and finished 34th.

For more information see www.lista.com, www.listaintl.com, www.doranracing.com, www.grandamerican.com, www.barbermotorsports.com and www.restartcommunications.com.

Quotes follow:

Didier Theys: "I was on slicks and it was slippery. If you could keep the slicks warm it was OK, but if they started to cool down because of too much water or it being too long of a yellow, it was a problem.

"If we wouldn't have had that last yellow, I think we would have had a podium. Sometimes luck goes in your favor, and sometimes not."

Andrea Montermini: "I spun by myself in the hairpin. The traction control came on and off in a blip and I spun. Under conditions like this you have to trust it. We need to look at the data and see what really happened. I could have just made a mistake and it wasn't that at all; I don't know for sure until we go over the data with the engineers.

"Our car on slick tires was good in the wet; it wasn't that damp. It was the right call to put on the rain tires; it was quicker than the other cars with them on when it started to rain harder. I thought we were in line for a podium."

Kevin Doran: "It was a weird race. The weather played a big factor today. If it would have rained a little more we would have won; a little less and we would have been last.

"All year the car has been very good in the wet; it was just a matter of luck today. That roll of the dice is all part of the game."

-dlr/lm-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Andy Wallace , Milka Duno , Butch Leitzinger , Didier Theys , Andrea Montermini , Kevin Doran , Michael Shank
Teams Michael Shank Racing