Homestead: Doran-Lista Racing race report

Magnussen is Involved in Accident While Going for the Lead Late in Grand Prix of Miami HOMESTEAD, Fla., Feb. 28 - Jan Magnussen was going for the lead with seven laps to go in the Grand Prix of Miami Saturday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, ...

Magnussen is Involved in Accident While Going for the Lead Late in Grand Prix of Miami

HOMESTEAD, Fla., Feb. 28 - Jan Magnussen was going for the lead with seven laps to go in the Grand Prix of Miami Saturday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, but unfortunately he and the driver he was battling, Max Papis, had contact which resulted in the Doran-Lista DORAN JE4 Lexus ending up spun out in turn one.

The team ended up 19th overall and 14th in the Daytona Prototype class at the finish of the 250-mile, 109-lap race on the 2.3-mile, 11-turn road course.

Everyone there knew that the Lebanon, Ohio-based team was in contention for the victory, however.

Magnussen, who was making his first appearance with the team and competing in the Grand American Rolex Series and at this track for the first time, was critical of the driver he was racing against when the contact occurred.

"I can't believe that Max Papis took me out," he said. "He hit me on the frontstretch so hard that it broke the suspension. I spun around and just stopped on the grass; I couldn't get going again. I don't know if a tire is flat or not.

"He hit me maybe six or seven times, but I didn't once turn the steering wheel in on him."

Magnussen said the pair had contact earlier which may have provoked the problem.

"I passed him briefly on the restart and we had contact; maybe that is why he got emotional and hit me so many times when I got beside him again," he said. "But there is no excuse for hitting me like he did."

The accident was a premature and frustrating end to a day that saw the Doran-Lista DORAN JE4 Lexus in contention for the entire race. Lead driver Didier Theys of Scottsdale, Ariz. battled an understeer condition which made it hard for him to catch the leaders, but he still ran in third or fourth place during his stint.

"We had an understeer when I was in the car, but when we did the driver change we also changed the gurney, and the car was better for Jan," Theys said. "The problem was mainly on the banking; I just couldn't keep up with the leader.

"One time I thought I had a puncture, but it was just a ball of rubber on a tire," Theys added. "When it fell off, everything was fine. Other than the understeer, the car was fine when I was in it."

Theys actually led lap 41 when the Scott Pruett/Papis entry made its first pit stop, but he lost that lead when he also pitted just two minutes later and turned the wheel over to Magnussen.

On that stop team owner Kevin Doran changed the car's gurney flap, which solved the understeer problem. Magnussen was able to advance to second on lap 48 by passing the Jimmy Morales/Luiz Diaz Riley, and took the lead again on lap 72 when the Pruett/Papis car pitted. Magnussen led from that point until the team made its last spot for a limited amount of fuel and three sticker Goodyears on lap 86, and he was back in second when a full-course caution tightened up the field on lap 96. The fireworks between Papis and Magnussen got started on the restart with 10 laps to go, and ended for the Doran-Lista team in a plume of smoke on the frontstretch as the pair collided and Magnussen spun to a stop in turn one. Papis ended up seventh when it was all over.

Two of the three other DORAN JE4s in the field finished on the podium. The Howard-Boss Crawford Pontiac of Andy Wallace and Milka Duno won the race, but the G&W Motorsports DORAN JE4 BMW was second in its first race ever and the Michael Shank Racing DORAN JE4 Lexas was third. The Bell Motorsports DORAN JE4 spun early in the event but battled back for sixth overall.

The event will be broadcast on SPEED at 4 p.m. Eastern time March 7.

For more information, see Lista's Web sites at www.lista.com and www.listaintl.com, and Doran-Lista Racing's recently revamped site at www.doranracing.com. Jan Magnussen's Web site is at www.janmagnussen.com.

-dlr/lm-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Andy Wallace , Milka Duno , Jan Magnussen , Max Papis , Scott Pruett , Jimmy Morales , Kevin Doran , Michael Shank
Teams Michael Shank Racing