FONTANA, Calif. (March 25, 2002) - Doran Lista Racing is having a year to remember in the Grand American Road Racing Association's Rolex Sports Car Series. So far, it's been a year everyone else would like to forget. Doran Lista drivers Didier...
FONTANA, Calif. (March 25, 2002) - Doran Lista Racing is having a year to remember in the Grand American Road Racing Association's Rolex Sports Car Series. So far, it's been a year everyone else would like to forget.
Doran Lista drivers Didier Theys and Fredy Lienhard Jr. won their third race in as many starts, using their Goodyear tires to overcome cool and rainy conditions, in the Grand American 400 at California Speedway. It was the first road race at the glittering Southern California facility.
Goodyear is the sole tire supplier for the SRP, GTS and AGT classes.
Theys and Lienhard finished first, both the overall and in the SRP class. Chris Bingham and Derek Hill, driving for Park Place Racing, won the GTS class and Michael Ciasulli and Paul Menard, driving a Flis Motorsports entry, won in AGT.
The overall winners had to overcome early adversity. After qualifying on the pole for the third time this season, the team elected to change engines before the race and had to start at the back of the field.
"I had no trouble, really, getting up through the field; I just had to take it easy," Theys said. "At the beginning it was a little bit of a handful because it was a cold day and we were running a relatively hard tire compound in order to get two stints out of one set of tires. But there, the last 10 or 12 laps or so, I could stand on it and the balance of the car was perfect."
The Dyson Racing duo of James Weaver and Chris Dyson finished second overall and in SRP. Weaver praised his Goodyear tires for their range of effectiveness.
"Just to cope with the load on the banking, where we were doing 187 mph, and then you have to be able to grip the track on all those first-gear corners is impressive," Weaver said. The Dyson team led parts of the race, including the early portion when Theys was charging through the field.
Late in the event the dark clouds that had shaded and cooled the area throughout the race dropped a light rain on the track.
Hill, the GTS winner, said the wet weather was not a factor for him. "It would lose a little grip, but it never was enough to make a difference," Hill said. "If it was going to get any wetter, I was going to take it real easy."
Ciasulli, winner of the AGT class, said, "I thought the tires were very consistent. As you know, the temperature started dropping. This track is hard on tires. But I thought the Goodyears held up very well."