Doran Racing Participates in Rolex 24 Testing Friday at Daytona DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Jan. 7 - Two cars from Doran Racing tested at Daytona International Speedway Friday, the first of three days of testing in preparation for the Rolex 24 Feb.
Doran Racing Participates in Rolex 24 Testing Friday at Daytona
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Jan. 7 - Two cars from Doran Racing tested at Daytona International Speedway Friday, the first of three days of testing in preparation for the Rolex 24 Feb. 5-6.
The team's #44 entry, a red DORAN JE4 Pontiac, had the best results, as it was sixth in the third practice session. It recorded 75 laps for the day. Jan Magnussen did the most laps in that car Friday, although Indy car driver Bryan Herta also got behind its wheel during the day. NASCAR NEXTEL Cup stars (and brothers) Terry and Bobby Labonte turned laps in the car during the night session, as did Magnussen and Herta.
Didier Theys, Matteo Bobbi and Fabrizio Gollin turned 80 laps Friday in the team's #77 entry, a gold DORAN JE4 Lexus.
The #44 didn't get out in the first session and it just made a handful of laps in the second session due to a problem with its electronics, but it was sixth in the third session with a 1:49.372/117.178 mph and ninth in the fourth and final evening session with a 1:49.264/117.294 mph.
The #77 had some issues to deal with in the first session but it was 19th in the second session with a 1:52.7/113.757 mph; 19th in the third session with a 1:52.062/114.365 mph; and 15th in the fourth session with a 1:50.504/115.978 mph.
Despite all his accomplishments in racing, Magnussen actually made his first laps ever at Daytona Friday.
"It's a fun place," he said. "It has some high-speed turns, and the braking going into turn one is exciting. I like it!
"There is a real feel about this place," Magnussen added. "The history and just everything about it is different than other tracks.
"We had an issue with some electronics in the morning, but we changed everything and then we were sixth fastest, and we can go faster yet," Magnussen added after the third session.
"We had some small problems, but it's a whole new package," Magnussen noted, referring to the Pontiac engine and the Hoosier tires. "We're getting it sorted out. As soon as we got our initial problems solved the car was fast right away, and now we'll work on the balance next."
Herta was also making his first laps at Daytona, unless one counts a go-kart race he did here somewhere around 1987.
"It was good to get a feel for the car," Herta said after his first stint. "Now I have something to think about overnight. But I'm having fun, which is the most important thing!
"It was cool," Terry Labonte said after his stint. "I'm looking forward to driving it in the daylight tomorrow. The car is neat!"
"I'll be more excited tomorrow in the daylight," his brother concurred. "At least we got a few laps in, and it was good!"
Theys, of course, is a Daytona veteran and has two Rolex 24 victories to his credit. Both Bobbi and Gollin found his insights to be very helpful. Bobbi has driven here once before, but Gollin took his first laps at Daytona Friday.
"My mother called me today on the telephone and told me not to go too fast on the first day," Bobbi said, adding with a smile, "but tomorrow we have a day behind us, so we can go faster tomorrow!"
Testing will continue Saturday and Sunday and the weather forecast is for continued pleasant, 80-degree temperatures.
For more information see www.doranracing.com, www.grandamerican.com, www.speedtv.com and www.restartcommunications.com.