Doran Racing's Crown Royal Special Reserve DORAN JE4 Lexus No. 77 Leads Mont-Tremblant Six-Hour Race MONT-TREMBLANT, Que., May 21 - The Crown Royal Special Reserve DORAN JE4 Lexus No. 77 of Fabrizio Gollin and Matteo Bobbi led 16 laps of ...
Doran Racing's Crown Royal Special Reserve DORAN JE4 Lexus No. 77 Leads Mont-Tremblant Six-Hour Race
MONT-TREMBLANT, Que., May 21 - The Crown Royal Special Reserve DORAN JE4 Lexus No. 77 of Fabrizio Gollin and Matteo Bobbi led 16 laps of Saturday's Six Hours of Mont-Tremblant Rolex series race, sometimes by a huge margin, and was in second place on lap 98 of the 188-lap event when it spun in turn six after contact with a slower car and retired from the race.
Its official finishing position was 17th in the Daytona Prototype class and 34th overall.
The incident happened three hours and 26 minutes into the six-hour event, which was run under a steady rain for about two-thirds of the race.
Matteo Bobbi was behind the wheel when the accident occurred. After taking the lead from Wayne Taylor in the SunTrust No. 10 on a restart on lap 77, two hours and 46 minutes into the race, Bobbi immediately built up a big lead. At one point the Doran Racing entry was more than 21 seconds ahead of the second-place car at the time, the Krohn Racing/TRG No. 66 of Christian Fittipaldi.
At the race's half-way point the Crown Royal Special Reserve car had a 7.719 -second lead over Fittipaldi. Bobbi held the lead until three hours and 17 minutes into the event, when Fittipaldi got by him in turn eight on lap 93.
At that point the track was starting to dry so team owner Kevin Doran brought Bobbi in on the next lap for slick Hoosiers, and the other Daytona Prototype teams followed suit. Bobbi slipped to sixth after his pit stop but when the others stopped too he got back up to second. Then, on lap 98, 9 minutes after his pit stop, he had contact with a Porsche, spun and stopped in turn six. The car's right-rear wheel was damaged in the accident and Bobbi couldn't get back to the pits on his own.
Prior to that Bobbi was consistently setting the fastest laps of anyone in the race and he had said over the radio that the car had plenty more to give if needed.
The only real problem the car had before the accident was one of a lack of visibility due to the rain, but the crew had made adjustments during a couple of early pit stops while Gollin was driving to alleviate the worst of that, and Gollin was third when he turned the car over to Bobbi. The crew had also taped off part of the radiator during the early going to keep things warmer due to the cold, steady rain that plagued the first part of the race.
Neither Gollin nor Bobbi had driven at this particular track before Thursday. Gollin qualified fifth on Friday.
The other two DORAN JE4s finished ninth and tenth.
Unofficially Doran Racing is 11th in the Daytona Prototype team point standings after Saturday's race, and Bobbi and Gollin are tied for 12th in the driver standings.
The race was televised live on SPEED, and was won by the CITGO Howard-Boss Motorsports car of Milka Duno, Andy Wallace and Jan Lammers.
The next race is another six-hour event June 10-12 at Watkins Glen, N.Y.
For more information, please see doranracing.com and crownroyal.com. Bobbi's Web site is at matteobobbi.com and Gollin's is at fabriziogollin.com.
Other interesting information can be found at grandamerican.com, lecircuit.com, speedtv.com and restartcommunications.com.
Fabrizio Gollin: "Our car was very fast. During my stint I should have stopped two times really because I couldn't see anything. But the guys made a good job with the windscreen. Then on the restart I could take third position because I could see. Our car was really fast.
"There were a lot of stupid moves out there though. We must learn more about this series and who the slower drivers are and how they drive. We haven't learned enough about this kind of racing yet I guess.
"I only had two laps yesterday and I still qualified fifth. I didn't try anything yesterday because we had no time with the engine change.
"This is my first time here, and it is the first time for me in this car in the wet. In my stint I know I was lucky to not have any problems.
"But it is still a good weekend because our car was very fast."
Matteo Bobbi: "I have nothing to say. I touched with a Porsche and I spun. It is a big problem for me.
[Did the damage to the right-rear wheel happen from the contact with the Porsche?]: "I think so."