DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Oct. 31 - After getting a few gremlins out of the Doran-Lista DORAN JE4 Toyota ...
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Oct. 31 - After getting a few gremlins out of the Doran-Lista DORAN JE4 Toyota #27 on Thursday, the Doran-Lista Racing team celebrated Halloween by spooking the competition and setting a new class track record enroute to the pole for tomorrow's Grand American Champions Weekend Rolex Series race at Daytona International Speedway.
Bill Auberlen of Hermosa Beach, Calif. was behind the wheel for the first official pole for this car, which is making only its fourth start ever. His lap of 1:48.667 (117.938 mph) was more than a second faster than the Mustang that will start second, which ran a lap in 1:49.770 (116.753 mph)
The other DORAN JE4 in the field, the Chevrolet-powered #54 of Bell Motorsports, was second in the Daytona Prototype class and third overall with a 1:50.211 (116.288 mph).
David Donohue held the record that Auberlen broke with a 1:50.196 (116.302 mph) that he posted in July.
Auberlen, who will be joined behind the wheel tomorrow by Didier Theys of Scottsdale, Ariz., waited a few laps before he went out in the qualifying session due to oil that was laid down in the previous session in the fast kink and turns five and six. The top four cars all set their fastest laps on their third circuit of the 3.56-mile road course.
"With Didier, Toyota and the Doran-Lista team, it's a never-ending development program and they're all doing a great job," Auberlen said. "It was a good lap; it was within a tenth of what we ran in practice this morning. There was oil on the track and it's a little warmer now, so that equaled it out. We did a lot of spring changes here, and we have a very good car."
"I'm very pleased with our progress," Theys added. "Toyota has helped us greatly. We're all working well together. I think we have a good program for 2004."
"The two DORAN JE4s are up front in the Daytona Prototype class, which I think is pretty significant," added Forest Barber, who qualified the Bell Motorsports one.
The race will be broadcast live from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. tomorrow on SPEED.