Daytona II: Doran-Lista qualifying report

Leuenberger Qualifies 12th in Doran-Lista DORAN JE4 Lexus for Tomorrow Night's Paul Revere 250 at Daytona DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., June 30 - On the first day Benjamin Leuenberger ever drove a Daytona Prototype or competed at the Daytona...

Leuenberger Qualifies 12th in Doran-Lista DORAN JE4 Lexus for Tomorrow Night's Paul Revere 250 at Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., June 30 - On the first day Benjamin Leuenberger ever drove a Daytona Prototype or competed at the Daytona International Speedway, he qualified 12th in class and overall Wednesday night for Thursday night's Paul Revere 250 Rolex series race.

Leuenberger's fastest lap in the Doran-Lista DORAN JE4 Lexus #27 during the 15-minute qualifying session was clocked at 1:51.968 for an average speed of 114.461 mph as he covered Daytona's 3.56-mile road course.

Scott Pruett won the pole with a 1:46.906 (119.881 mph) in the CompUSA Riley Lexus.

The Doran-Lista team hopes to make only one driver's change during the two-hour-and-45-minute race. The driver who qualifies must start the race, so Leuenberger will drive first and then give the car over to the team's lead driver, Didier Theys of Scottsdale, Ariz. Hopefully at that point the team will be dicing for a top position, so it would be in the team's best interest to have the driver with the most experience in the car for the second half of the race.

To help accelerate Leuenberger's learning curve, team owner Kevin Doran had him drive the most in the practice sessions prior to qualifying.

Leuenberger, of Bellach, Solothurn, Switzerland, had this to say about his qualifying laps: "At first I was in traffic so I couldn't go real fast. Then there at the end I lost the car under braking in the chicane. I didn't hit anything, but at first I thought I was going to. The car slowed down faster than I thought it would.

"We still have some oversteer, but the car is getting better," he added. "We still have some work to do, but the Doran-Lista crew is working very hard and the car is better each session. The car is quicker than we qualified; right now we have a top-10 car, not 12th. We should have a good car for the race."

How does the car compare to other cars he's driven?

"This car is softer than other types of Prototypes I have driven. It has a lot more movement to it."

The Michael Shank Racing DORAN JE4 Lexus #6 will start fifth; the G&W Motorsports DORAN JE4 BMW #81 qualified ninth; and the Bell Motorsports DORAN JE4 Pontiac #54 was 15th.

The Doran-Lista team was 16th in the first practice session Wednesday with a 1:54.608 (111.815 mph); tenth in the second practice session with a 1:52.018 (114.409 mph) and 12th in the evening practice session with a 1:52.421 (114.000 mph).

Tomorrow's race is scheduled to begin at approximately 11 p.m., after NASCAR Nextel Cup qualifying for the Pepsi 400. Its distance is 250 miles, 70 laps or two-and-three-quarters hours. It will be covered on a tape-delayed basis on SPEED at noon ET on Sunday.

-doran/lm-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Didier Theys , Scott Pruett , Benjamin Leuenberger , Kevin Doran , Michael Shank
Teams Michael Shank Racing