Doran Racing's Crown Royal Special Reserve No. 77 Finishes Tenth in Rolex Series Season Finale MEXICO CITY, Mexico, Nov. 5 - Matteo Bobbi and Fabrizio Gollin recorded another top-10 finish Saturday as they concluded their first full season of ...
Doran Racing's Crown Royal Special Reserve No. 77 Finishes Tenth in Rolex Series Season Finale
MEXICO CITY, Mexico, Nov. 5 - Matteo Bobbi and Fabrizio Gollin recorded another top-10 finish Saturday as they concluded their first full season of Rolex series action at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Doran Racing's Crown Royal Special Reserve DORAN JE4 Ford No. 77.
Unofficially the Lebanon, Ohio-based team ended up tenth in the Daytona Prototype point standings for the 14-race 2005 season. Bobbi and Gollin tied with Mike Borkowski for tenth place in the DP driver standings. The DORAN JE4 was third in the DP chassis manufacturer standings for the year, although all those calculations are unofficial. The official standings will be posted on grandamerican.com next week.
Bobbi qualified fourth and got off to a great start in the race, holding 2005 co-champion Wayne Taylor off for many laps. About 30 minutes into the event Bobbi started to get passed by some of his rivals, however, and 45 minutes into the event he had dropped to seventh. He got a spot back when Ken Wilden had a problem with the Michael Shank Racing No. 6 in turn 14, but Wilden regrouped and pushed Bobbi back to seventh.
Jorg Bergmeister got around him right about the same time that race leader Scott Pruett pitted at an hour and 11 minutes into the race, pushing the No. 77 to eighth. The Crown Royal DORAN JE4 Ford gets exceptional fuel mileage, however, so Bobbi was able to start to make his way back up the scoreboard as the drivers ahead of him pitted. He moved back into fifth with one hour and 23 minutes in the books, which was about the same time the eventual winning car of Michael McDowell and Memo Gidley made its pit stop and Max Angelelli got a lap in to join his co-driver, Taylor, as the 2005 Daytona Prototype co-driver champions.
Due to pit stops Bobbi was back in fourth place, right where he started, two minutes later. It looked like a full-course caution might wave when smoke poured out of Oswaldo Negri's Michael Shank Racing No. 60 an hour and a half into the race, but unfortunately none waved so Bobbi had to make his pit stop under green too on lap 53, one hour and 35 minutes into the two-hour and 45-minute race.
The Doran Racing pit crew performed its usual smooth and quick pitstop, and when Gollin took over he settled into 11th place. He ran in that position for almost his entire stint. With six laps to go in the 90-lap race the Rx.com/Synergy Racing DORAN JE4 BMW No. 8 of Brian Frisselle stopped on the course, vaulting Gollin to tenth. He took the checkered in that position, right behind last year's co-champion, Max Papis.
"We needed some more grip," Bobbi said afterwards. "We started quite well, but we lost quite a lot of grip. No one on the team is happy because we were off the pace we can run.
"It was a clean race for us, which was good," he added. "We got good fuel mileage and the Ford engine was excellent. The team did a good pit stop. We just needed more speed today. Fabrizio says the same thing."
The race was broadcast live on SPEED.
For more information please see doranracing.com and crownroyal.com. The d rivers' Web sites are at Matteobobbi.com and fabriziogollin.com.
Other interesting information can be found at grandamerican.com, speedtv.com and restartcommunications.com.
The series banquet is slated for Nov. 30 in Orlando, Fla. There is testing planned at Homestead-Miami Speedway Dec. 5-6. The traditional Daytona test days are Jan. 4-7, 2006, with the Rolex 24 at Daytona following on Jan. 26-29.