Doran-Lista DORAN JE4 Lexus Is Fifth-Fastest at Daytona Test; Team Concentrates on Race Set-up DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Jan. 5 -- The Lebanon, Ohio-based Doran-Lista Racing team posted the fifth-fastest time overall in three days of testing at ...
Doran-Lista DORAN JE4 Lexus Is Fifth-Fastest at Daytona Test; Team Concentrates on Race Set-up
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Jan. 5 -- The Lebanon, Ohio-based Doran-Lista Racing team posted the fifth-fastest time overall in three days of testing at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla., on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
The test is held not only in preparation for the 2004 season but also for the Rolex series' biggest race, the 2004 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona Jan. 29-Feb. 1.
Driving the car that holds the current qualifying record for the Daytona Prototype class on Daytona's 3.56-mile road course, lead driver Didier Theys of Scottsdale, Ariz. finished third-fastest for the day on Saturday; fifth-fastest on Sunday and third-fastest on Monday in the Doran-Lista DORAN JE4 Lexus #27. The bright red car's best lap of the three-day test was the 1:49.747 (116.778 mph) lap that Theys posted Sunday afternoon in the fifth of seven different test sessions held during the three-day test, which ended up being the fifth-fastest lap that any car ran during the course of the three days.
The team was in the top five for every single session, recording a second, a fourth and a second on Saturday; two fifths on Sunday and a second and a third on Monday in the seven different test sessions.
The final test session Monday afternoon was especially gratifying to the staff of Doran Designs, as the three DORAN JE4s that it designed and built took all three "podium spots" in the 19-car Daytona Prototype field. The Bell Motorsports DORAN JE4 Chevy, which was the fastest of all the cars at the test with a 1:48.311 (118.32 mph) lap that it ran Sunday morning, also led the standings for the final test session Monday afternoon. Another DORAN JE4, the #6 Lexus-powered car of Michael Shank Racing, which was just delivered on Dec. 27, was second-fastest in that final session, while the Doran-Lista DORAN JE4 Lexus #27 was third.
Theys wasn't concerned that the Doran-Lista team didn't top the test standings. He's concentrating on the race.
"We didn't really try to go really fast; instead we worked on the set-up for the race and I think we have a good set-up," he said while changing planes as he returned home to Phoenix Monday night. "I think we have a good car for the race. We didn't put on new tires to try to go fast like some of the other teams did; instead, we concentrated on our race set-up and ran mostly on tires with some laps on them so we will know what we'll have during the actual race conditions. During the last session today we worked on some things with our brakes. But I think we have a good set-up for the race, which is most important," he emphasized.
"It was a great test," said Kevin Doran as his plane was ready to take off Monday afternoon following the test. "It was a great event for Doran Designs. In the last session of the test the three DORAN cars finished in the top three spots. It was a proud moment for us, and hopefully we can do something similar when we come back for the race the last week of January.
"The #27 car didn't have any problems all three days," he elaborated. "With the #6 [the recently-completed Michael Shank Racing car that will make its racing debut at the Rolex 24], we had a little bit of trouble with the electronics, but we have that mostly sorted out now. We have a little bit of work to do for it back home. But mechanically it was 100 percent solid, and its drivers were very pleased. And the Bell Motorsports team led the standings, so they're also very happy and are like us, just getting ready for the big race."
At least two other drivers will join Theys and Fredy Lienhard Sr. of Niederteufen, Switzerland behind the wheel of the Doran-Lista DORAN JE4 Lexus #27 for the 42nd running of the twice-around-the-clock enduro, which the Doran-Lista team won in 2002 with its Dallara. They will be announced soon.
The race will be covered live on SPEED Jan. 31-Feb. 1.
For more information see www.lista.com and www.doranracing.com.