Doran-Lista tops Mont-Tremblant speed charts Friday in practice. MONT-TREMBLANT, Que., Sept. 13 - Despite the fact that it's Friday the 13th, the Doran-Lista team encountered no bad luck and topped the time charts during all three practice ...
Doran-Lista tops Mont-Tremblant speed charts Friday in practice.
MONT-TREMBLANT, Que., Sept. 13 - Despite the fact that it's Friday the 13th, the Doran-Lista team encountered no bad luck and topped the time charts during all three practice sessions for the Grand Am Rolex Series at Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant today.
The team and its three drivers - Didier Theys, Fredy Lienhard Jr. and Fredy Lienhard Jr. - are all making their first visit to this beautiful track situated in a town most famous for being a ski resort. Qualifying for Sunday's six-hour endurance race will be held at 1:25 p.m. Eastern time tomorrow following a 10 a.m. practice session Saturday morning.
The team participated in an open test day at the track yesterday, but Friday was the first day that official times were kept.
The team's fastest lap in the first practice session on Friday morning (and its fastest all day) was Theys' fourth trip around the 2.65-mile, 15-turn course today, which he ran at an average speed of 112.568 mph in the Doran-Lista Dallara Judd #27. The Dyson Crawford Judd was second at 111.052 mph.
The times were a tick slower in the heat of the afternoon, as Theys' third lap in the 2 p.m. practice session was clocked at an average speed of 111.311 mph. The Dyson #16 team was second again but the margin was smaller, as its best speed in that session was recorded at 111.186 mph.
Theys' fastest lap in the 4:30 p.m. practice session Friday was his second lap, which he did at an average speed of 110.115 mph. The Dyson team didn't go out in that session.
Both of those teams are locked in a torrid duel for the championship. The Doran-Lista team has led those standings all year, but the Dyson team is only two points behind going into this race, the next-to-last one on the 2002 calendar.
Doran-Lista's Theys leads the SRP driver standings too, but the Dyson team's Chris Dyson is in second place and another Dyson driver, James Weaver, is in third.
Only three Sports Racing Prototype cars are entered in this event and only one Sports Racing Prototype II car is entered in that class. A total of 23 entries are included on the official entry list for Sunday's six-hour race, which is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. Eastern time. SPEED Channel plans to cover it live from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and again from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday's race will mark the first time that Fredy Lienhard Sr. and Fredy Lienhard Jr. will compete as teammates in the same race. Tomorrow is also the birthday of Fredy Lienhard Sr., who will turn 55.
The drivers' quotes on Friday touched on various topics:
DIDIER THEYS: "I feel a bit at home here because they speak my native tongue, French, and as a skier I like to be around a ski resort. The car is working well. For the last two days we worked on trying to get the best, most comfortable and more reliable car we can have for a six-hour race. We tried various different set-ups, and now I think we have a comfortable car. The balance is good.
"Some people have mentioned turn one as a challenging turn, but we're getting through there well and there are other turns very much like it on this course. You need to have the car react the way you want it to, and for the most part our car is."
FREDY LIENHARD JR.: "I only went out in two practice sessions today, but I'm getting comfortable and my lap times are improving. I'm been working on my consistency, and that's getting better too so that's a good sign. All three of us walked the track last night and talked about the line, and that helped me today to go even faster.
"This area is beautiful. It reminds me of our home in Switzerland, except there would be more buildings around; even in the country, there are farms everywhere there."
FREDY LIENHARD SR.: "I'm getting faster every session. This session the track was oily, but I feel safe and comfortable, so that's good. I have to work on my seat insert though; Fredy Jr.'s is too tight for me and Didier's is a little too wide. I'm in the middle, and neither one of their inserts is quite right for me. We'll try to refine that and then I'll be even more comfortable."