Doran-Lista Finishes Seventh Saturday in Grand American Race at Mid-Ohio LEXINGTON, Ohio, Aug. 7 - The Doran-Lista team finished seventh both overall and in the Daytona Prototype class in the EMCO Gears Mid-Ohio Road Racing Classic Grand...
Doran-Lista Finishes Seventh Saturday in Grand American Race at Mid-Ohio
LEXINGTON, Ohio, Aug. 7 - The Doran-Lista team finished seventh both overall and in the Daytona Prototype class in the EMCO Gears Mid-Ohio Road Racing Classic Grand American Rolex series race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course Saturday night.
Drivers Didier Theys of Scottsdale, Ariz. and Benjamin Leuenberger of Bellach, Solothurn, Switzerland were challenged by a car that was did not handle as well as usual, but the Doran-Lista DORAN JE4 Lexus still ran very competitive laps throughout the race.
The team had an excellent overall race strategy, and both of its pits stops were made under full-course yellows and went like clockwork. Several other Daytona Prototypes were involved in accidents during the two-hour-and-45-minute race, so just being able to leave Mid-Ohio relatively unscathed prior to next Friday's race at Watkins Glen, N.Y. was an accomplishment.
Theys qualified eighth and drove the first stint. He was eighth when he pitted under a full-course yellow on lap 37 at almost the one-hour mark when Terry Borcheller ended up in the gravel in turn 11 with a broken steering rack.
Leuenberger got in at that point and drove the rest of the way. With some attrition he moved slowly forward, and on lap 56 with about one hour to go he cracked the top five.
Leuenberger said the Crawford Pontiac of Stephan Gregoire and Doug Goad passed both him and another competitor under a yellow flag, and he also was hampered by so much rubber building up on his left-front tire that it broke the levers on the car's bodywork in that area.
He was sixth when he pitted on lap 78 under a full-course yellow for an accident involving a Porsche and a Maserati in turn nine. Having fresh Goodyears helped a lot, and at the end he was able to run laps comparable to the cars which finished third, fourth and fifth. Lapped traffic thwarted any run on them at the end, however, and he took the checkered in seventh.
The race was broadcast on a tape-delayed basis Saturday night on SPEED. Max Papis and Scott Pruett won in the CompUSA Riley Lexus.
For more information see www.lista.com, www.listaintl.com, www.doranracing.com, www.grandamerican.com and www.benleuenberger.ch.
Driver quotes follow:
Didier Theys: "When I was in the car we had an understeer first, and then we had an oversteer. I was sliding around on all four wheels. Our set-up was just not good; it was just a bad weekend for us. We'll go to Watkins Glen and hopefully we'll do better there."
Ben Leuenberger:" The Lexus engine was good. The balance of the car at the beginning of my stint was good at first, but then after a couple of laps it was understeering. We had a soft brake pedal too.
"The 09 passed me and another car under yellow once, but the officials didn't do anything about it.
"The left front levers on the bodywork broke out because of all the tire build-up on that tire. So much rubber got built up that it broke the bodywork.
"After I came in for fresh tires the car was fast again, and at the end we were running as fast as the cars that finished third, fourth and fifth. The Kodak car was several laps down but it got between me and the cars I was trying to pass, so we were still seventh at the end."