DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (October 9, 2002) - With more than 20 years of experience in professional auto racing, Kevin Doran has been a mainstay in the sport. Since Doran Racing was formed in 1989, which later becoming Doran Lista Racing, Kevin Doran...
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (October 9, 2002) - With more than 20 years of experience in professional auto racing, Kevin Doran has been a mainstay in the sport. Since Doran Racing was formed in 1989, which later becoming Doran Lista Racing, Kevin Doran has been the backbone to one America's leading sports car teams. His team has won the Rolex 24 At Daytona twice and is always a top contender at every race. With drivers Didier Theys, Fredy Lienhard Jr., Fredy Liendhard Sr. and Mauro Baldi and crew chief Jeff Graves, the Doran Lista team hopes to wrap up the Rolex Series title next month.
Series - Rolex Sports Car Series
Class - SportsRacing Prototype
Car - #27 Judd-powered Dallara
Team Owner - Kevin Doran
Garage Location - Lebanon, Ohio
Website - www.doranracing.com
Year Established - 1999 (1989-Doran Racing)
Drivers - Didier Theys, Fredy Lienhard Sr., Fredy Lienhard Jr., Mauro Baldi
Crew Chief - Jeff Graves
* Second place in 2001 team standings
* Currently leading the 2002 team points standings
* Eight podium finishes and four wins in 2002
* Won the Rolex 24 At Daytona in 2002 and 1998
IN KEVIN DORAN'S WORDS...
What is your most memorable racing moment?
Winning the Rolex 24 At Daytona in 1998.
What are your thoughts on the 2002 season so far?
Well, I'm kind of disappointed that the current cars are in their final year. They are pretty cool cars and it's been a lot of fun for the tenure of world sports cars. So I guess from that point of view its kind of a closing year. It's a bit of a downer because it's the end of an era. But at the same time there have been a couple of good races. The 24 Hours was pretty exciting. We've gone to some pretty cool tracks. Mont-Tremblant was really a fantastic track, and VIR was an incredible circuit.
What goals have you set for yourself and your team?
We don't really set the traditional goals that you hear the Winston Cup teams talk about, but I think our goals are more to strive for a mistake-free season and hopefully to finish all of the races competitively. Each year that is really our goal, just to complete all the miles. I think its almost automatic here that we expect to have an opportunity to win every week. I've been doing it for a long time and you just do the best you can every week.
Who or what has been the biggest influence on you life and on your team?
I think my dad. He got me into the sport, so he would be probably the biggest single motivator or influence for me. Next to my father would be Al Holbert, who I worked for through the eighties. He was quite a GTP champion in his day. Probably those two guys are the main meters in my career.
As an owner what advice do you give to your drivers and crew before a race?
We always have a bit of a pre-race meeting with the drivers and kind of discuss basic strategy. With pit strategy we do a basic plan before the race but during the race the strategy is a spur of the moment thing. As the race unfolds you adapt it, but there is a foundational plan that is laid out before each event.
What is your favorite part about being a team owner?
Racing is my favorite part. Sometimes I would prefer not to be a team owner; I would rather just go race. So I guess my favorite part is that I get to pick what races I go to.
What is the most challenging part of being a team owner?
I think today the most challenging part about being a team owner is figuring out how to pay the bills. Race teams keep getting bigger and bigger. You get more employees and more responsibility. The hardest part is keeping the whole thing together.
What kind of advice would you give to someone looking to start a new team?
Your people are your prime asset, so surround yourself with the best people that you can find and your chance of success will be improved.
How has it been trying to juggle developing a Daytona Prototype and finishing out the season?
The big break in the schedule has given us time to do both. Back in August and September, when we had three races in four weeks, the Daytona Prototype didn't make much progress. Now that we've had a longer break the Daytona Prototype has taken a huge leap forward and that project is getting back on schedule.
Because of the tight points race, will you be changing anything about your team's strategy for the Finale?
We are working on that right now. Didier will of course drive. He has driven with four different co-drivers this year so there is positive momentum for every driver and we are just trying to weigh out the pro and cons of each of the guys and hope we choose the right co-driver. On the car end of the program we are probably replacing a few more parts than normal for a three-hour race in hopes of ensuring our durability.
Do you have any special ways that you promote a team atmosphere?
Its not a formal plan that's laid down on paper and been studied and refined and said OK lets put this into action. It's more of a development over the years. Additionally we try to keep our core team together for a long period of time. We try to keep our people indefinitely or for as long as possible. I think that like any sort of relationship it comes together in time, so its hard to make a plan because people are so unpredictable and unique that the plan had to be made after the personalities had come together. You see what everybody's assets can be and what their sensitive areas are. After that you can adjust accordingly.
As a team owner, what do your daily activities include?
I'm sort of a six-and-a-half day a week worker with a 12-hour day, A sort of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. kind of thing. For me I spend close to half of my day in the office and being an owner and the other six or so hours in the shop. In the shop I just kind of jump around between fabricating and machine work. Actually I do a fair amount of our machine work and some of the fabricating. I oversee the maintenance on the gearboxes and uprights and really the whole car.
Is their anything you would like to say to Doran Lista fans?
Thanks for sticking behind us and hopefully we will win the championship and give all of the Doran Lista fans something to cheer about.
The Rolex Series will end its 2002 season Nov. 8-10 at the Finale at Daytona International Speedway. Tickets are currently on sale for the event by calling 386-253-RACE (7223). For more information on Doran Lista Racing and the Rolex Series can be found online at www.grand-am.com.