PHOENIX, April 10 - The Doran-Lista Racing team saw a solid top-five finish evaporate 35 minutes before the end of the Food City 250 at Phoenix International Raceway Saturday night due to an accident in turn four of the oval on lap 105 of the ...
PHOENIX, April 10 - The Doran-Lista Racing team saw a solid top-five finish evaporate 35 minutes before the end of the Food City 250 at Phoenix International Raceway Saturday night due to an accident in turn four of the oval on lap 105 of the 133-lap race. Luckily hometown favorite Didier Theys of Scottsdale, Ariz., wasn't hurt in the accident, but due to extensive front-end damage the Doran-Lista DORAN JE4 Lexus #27 didn't finish the two-hour-and-45-minute race.
The team ended up 31st overall and 14th in the Daytona Prototype class in the final rundown.
Fredy Lienhard Sr. of Niederteufen, Switzerland started the race in 14th, passed several other drivers during his stint and handed the car over to Theys in 11th place when he pitted on lap 13 during a full-course yellow.
Theys took it from there and was eighth by lap 33, surviving an incident when another driver almost put him into the wall on a restart on that lap. He avoided that and was rewarded by breaking into the top 10 two laps later.
It wasn't too long before he was running in sixth or seventh place, and by lap 50, about an hour and 20 minutes into the event, Theys moved into fifth. He ran in various spots between fifth and seventh from then on and got as high as third on lap 84 when the leaders pitted.
Theys pitted on the next lap himself and spent the next few laps trying to chase down the G&W Motorsports DORAN JE4, which eventually finished third. Theys' car had an unsteering condition, however, and on lap 105 it got away from the talented driver and he hit the wall, which knocked the team out of contention and out of the race.
"We had more understeer with that set of tires than the first set, and I had to back off the throttle quite a bit to take that turn," explained Theys afterwards. "I guess that time I didn't back off enough. The rear snapped around on me in turn four and the front hit the outside wall."
"It was a shame," said Lienhard. "At the start, I wanted to play it safe. I advanced a few positions, but I didn't push it because I wanted to stay out of trouble and give the car to Didier in good shape. The car was quite good at the start; I had no understeer to speak of to deal with like Didier had."
"It seems like we're a little snake-bit here at PIR," said team owner Kevin Doran. "It was an exciting race until it ended too soon. It was a tough race; there were probably 12 cars that did a super job. We were in contention, but we just had bad luck here tonight."
One of the DORAN JE4s, which are designed and built by Doran Designs, did end up on the podium, as G&W Motorsports' Rx.com DORAN JE4 BMW #81 was third. The Michael Shank Racing DORAN JE4 Lexus #6 finished sixth, while the Bell Motorsports Kodak EasyShare DORAN JE4 Pontiac #54 was 13th.
The race was broadcast live on SPEED.
The next race is at Mont-Tremblant, Quebec on May 21-23.
For more information see www.listaintl.com, www.lista.com and www.doranracing.com.