Doran-Lista to qualify for Rolex 24 on Friday after communications problem thwarts Thursday's round. DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Jan. 29 - A miscommunication between Grand American Road Racing Association officials and team managers caused nine cars to...
Doran-Lista to qualify for Rolex 24 on Friday after communications problem thwarts Thursday's round.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Jan. 29 - A miscommunication between Grand American Road Racing Association officials and team managers caused nine cars to be disqualified from the first round of Rolex 24 qualifying at Daytona International Speedway Thursday afternoon. One SGS car, seven GT cars and one Daytona Prototype, the latter being the Doran-Lista Racing entry, were disqualified from the session for failing to meet the deadline for nominations of the qualifying driver.
The top 30 positions were set for this weekend's race in the first round of qualifying, so when the Doran-Lista team attempts to qualify tomorrow at 9:45 a.m. during the second qualifying session it will be able to do no better than 31st in the final starting line-up.
"We lost our chance for the pole, and now we can start no better than 31st," said Kevin Doran, the team owner. "In a 24-hour race that can be made up, but the chances of being involved in an accident increase exponentially the further back in the field you start," he noted.
"We protested the situation but were denied," he added.
Didier Theys, who was slated to be the qualifying driver, will be in the car for tomorrow's second round of qualifying.
Two of his teammates, FIA world endurance sports car champion Jan Lammers and Mark Goossens, got their first chance to drive a Daytona Prototype Thursday when they participated in practice sessions in the Goodyear-shod DORAN JE4 Lexus #27.
Both were impressed.
"It was lovely," Lammers said. "This was the first time that I experienced this class, and it was quite enjoyable. There is less aerodynamics involved, which means the car is moving around more and siding more, which means it is very enjoyable. It will be a lot of fun in the race.
"We must have a conservative approach, but we all know Daytona; nothing goes the way you'd expect, so when you consider that, we're on schedule," he added with a smile.
Goossens got his first taste of a Daytona Prototype and his first taste of Daytona International Speedway Thursday.
"Everything is OK," he said after his second stint of the day Thursday night. "I got used to the car pretty easily. During that run I had no clear lap. At Solberg the speeds are down from this; I'm learning about the traffic at higher speeds, but I think it was a pretty good run. The car is running really smooth."
Fredy Lienhard Sr. also was pleased with the car's performance Thursday.
"I did a 52 in traffic, so I was pleased," he said. "The car is comfortable; everything is fine.
"Our team has never been more prepared," he added. "You can feel it. And that's what's most important in a 24-hour race; not where you start."
Scott Pruett won the pole in the Chip Ganassi Racing Riley & Scott Lexus.
The other two DORAN JE4s in the field were third overall (Terry Borcheller in the Bell Motorsports DORAN JE4 Pontiac) and seventh overall (Kelly Collins in the Michael Shank Racing DORAN JE4 Lexus).
The Doran-Lista team was sixth overall in Thursday night's practice session, and then did an engine change back in the garage area.
There is still time to enter the Lista cabinet give-away at www.listaintl.com.
Other information about the team can be found at www.lista.com and www.doranracing.com.