Doran Racing Scores Top-5 Finish at VIR The ...
Doran Racing Scores Top-5 Finish at VIR
The #77 Doran Racing / McDonald's team, with co-drivers Memo Gidley and Brad Jaeger scored a strong 5th-place finish in today's Bosch Engineering 250, Round Two of the 2009 Grand Am Rolex Sports Car Series. This marks the continuation of a Doran Racing streak at VIR; in this event last season, the team scored one of eleven top-10 finishes, including eight in a row.
"The Doran Racing McDonald's team put in a lot of hard work this weekend and things went pretty good today," says Gidley. "We ran third quick in practice, which is always a good sign, especially since we havn't ran the car since Daytona, and Brad did a great job to qualify the car ninth on the grid for the start of the race. He ran in the thick of the field and the car was strong enough to overcome a drive-through penalty when we mistakenly entered pit lane while the pits were closed. We had a couple of other mistakes throughout the race but were still able to bring the McDonald's car home to a nice finish. It was also great to have Aderholt Racing, back on the car as an associate sponsor and cool that Steve Aderholt was at the track this weekend."
Gidley, who co-drives the #77 Doran Racing/McDonald's/Doran-Dallara Ford, is a talented and widely respected American driver who was born in La Paz, Mexico and now makes his home in Novato, California. He 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. 2009 will mark Gidley's fifth season in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series DP class, and his third season with Doran Racing.
Brad Jaeger is a native of Cincinnati, Ohio and recent graduate of Vanderbilt University where he was a member of their Formula SAE team. His racing resume includes karting, Sports 2000, Skip Barber, F2000, Star Mazda and the Indy Pro Series. He co-drove his first prototype race for the Doran team in the 2007 season finale at Miller Motorsport Park and was Gidley's full-time co-driver during the 2008 season.
"I'm definitely happy with the result, even if we did make a few mistakes they were small and we kept our heads down and recovered and came back to finish well," said Jaeger. "It was one of my best races in the Daytona Prototype class; I felt good behind the weel and could push the car comfortably and turn fast laps. I was able to run with the fast guys and hand it over to Memo on the lead lap. It was our fuel strategy that made the biggest diffference; we pitted early and were in conservation mode for most of the last stint and were in line for a podium finish if the race had gone green to the end. Unfortunately there was a final yellow and so everyone was good for fuel, so we just turned on the flat-out engine map at the end and passed several cars. I really want to thank Kevin Doran and the team for a great setup and a fast race car."
The next event on the 2009 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series schedule is the Verizon Wireless 250 at New Jersey Motorsports Park, May 1 - 3. On-track activities begin Friday, May 1 with several practice sessions. The 15-minute Daytona Prototype qualifying session takes place 1:45 pm - 2:00 pm Saturday, May 2. The green flag for the start of the 250-mile / 2 3/4-hour Verizon Wireless 250 is scheduled to wave at 1:00 pm, Sunday, May 3. The race will be broadcast live on SPEED TV.
"The big story last year was all the dust clouds that got kicked up every time a car dropped a wheel off the track; it was like driving blindly at top speed through a wall and hoping there were no stalled cars on the other side," said Jaeger. "Now that they've got sod down, it should be a fun event. I really enjoyed the track layout when we raced there last August. We had a good setup last year and I think our new aero body panels and increased downforce should let us fight for a podium finish."