Gidley, Doran Look to Capitalize on Top-5, "Home Court" at Mid-Ohio Lebanon, OH (June 14, 2008) - The `home court advantage' is a well-known phenomenon in the world of sports, and if there is a home team for this weekend's EMCO Gears Classic ...
Gidley, Doran Look to Capitalize on Top-5, "Home Court" at Mid-Ohio
Lebanon, OH (June 14, 2008) - The `home court advantage' is a well-known phenomenon in the world of sports, and if there is a home team for this weekend's EMCO Gears Classic Grand-Am race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, its Lebanon, Ohio-based Doran Racing.
Adding to its strengths, Doran Racing comes to Mid-Ohio carrying the momentum of a top-5 finish in the previous event, the Sahlen's Six Hours of Watkins Glen, and has one of Ohio's favorite young racers, Cincinnati native Brad Jaeger, co-driving the #77 Kodak Doran/Dallara Ford.
"I was born and raised in Cincinnati, and Mid-Ohio is the home track for both myself and the Doran Racing team," says Jaeger, a graduate of both Cincinnati's St. Xavier high school and Vanderbilt University's engineering program. "Its where I started racing when I was 16 in my dad's old Sports 2000 car and in recent years have race there in F2000, the Star Mazda Championship and the Indy Pro Series. It's a fun track because of the elevation changes, the long, flowing turns and the long back straight that lets you really build up some speed. This will be my first race there in a DP car, but we're carrying some momentum from our top-5 finish at Watkins Glen and the entire team is looking forward to the weekend."
Jaeger and his co-driver in the #77 Doran Racing Daytona Prototype, Memo Gidley, combined their efforts to qualify 3rd and finish 5th in Round 7 of the 2008 Rolex Series. Gidley, the very talented and widely respected American driver who was born in La Paz, Mexico and now makes his home in Novato, California, has made a name for himself as one of the most committed drivers in the paddock, driving and winning in everything from karts to Indy Cars and stock cars to prototypes.
"I've had a lot of success at Mid-Ohio in everything from FF2000 to Atlantics to Champ Cars to Daytona Prototypes," says Gidley. "I really like this track for the elevations changes, the natural terrain, the facilities and the fans that come out to watch. Mid Ohio has a combination of long-duration tight corners and fast high-speed corners that put a premium on both mechanical and aero grip. Our car was sensational in both these areas at Watkins Glen and I expect that to be similar at Mid Ohio. The last few races the Doran team has shown everybody that we are back to being a front runner...I'm ready for that podium finish."
The #47 Doran Racing Dallara Ford, co-driven at Watkins Glen by Daytona prototype veteran Burt Frisselle, European GT champion Gabriele Gardel and rising open-wheel racer and current Firestone Indy Lights championship leader Richard Antinucci, will be rising like the phoenix from its own ashes to compete at Mid-Ohio. Running in the top-10 during the first hour and a half of the race, the team was anticipating a good finish when Gardel went off into the gravel trap and damaged the underside of the car. Although the crew was able to get the car going again, the damage proved more extensive than at first thought. With Antinucci in the car, the fuel cell started leaking and the resulting fire caused extensive damage to the rear of the car.
"The guys in the Doran shop are going to have to do a heckuva job to get the car ready for Mid-Ohio, but they're up to the challenge and our plan is 100% to be there and ready to go," says Frisselle, who has been racing Daytona Prototypes in the Grand-Am Rolex series since 2004. "We had what I feel was definitely a top-10 car at Watkins Glen before the fire, and Memo and Brad's top-5 finish shows the Doran Dallara-Ford package is starting to live up to its potential. I think Mid-Ohio is a track well-suited to our car's strengths and I'm looking forward to the race."
The two cars the Doran Racing team will field at Mid-Ohio and throughout the 2008 Rolex Series season look the same, but are different underneath. The #47 car is all-Dallara, while the #77 car is a Doran chassis fitted with Dallara bodywork featuring enhanced aerodynamics and increased downforce. Both cars are powered by 500 horsepower Roush-Yates Ford V-8 engines.
Doran Enterprises is Dallara's official spare parts distributor and approved repair center for that series. In addition, Doran Designs will fabricate certain special parts for the marque. Doran Racing has a successful history of working with Dallara and won the Daytona 24 Hours in 2002 with a Dallara Sportscar LMP1. While Doran Racing has prepared and fielded race cars in a wide variety of series for many years, from Indy cars to NASCAR trucks, the Lebanon, Ohio-based team is particularly noted for its successes in sports car endurance racing, including being the first and only team in U.S. history to win the 24 Hours at Daytona, the 12 Hours of Sebring and the Watkins Glen Six-Hour race in the same year (1998).
The EMCO Gears Classic presented by KeyBank at the 2.258-mile Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course will take place June 20-22. On-track action begins with several practice sessions on Friday, June 20, with the series' traditional 15-minute qualifying session scheduled from 4:55 pm to 5:05 pm that afternoon. The race will take the green flag at 5:00 pm Saturday, June 21. The event is scheduled for 250 miles, 111 laps or 2 hours and 45 minutes, whichever comes first.