Doran-Lista fastest in Friday practice. ALTON, Va., Aug. 30 - Even though the Doran-Lista team sat out the rainy morning practice session Friday at Virginia International Raceway, it still topped the time charts for the day when Didier Theys ran...
Doran-Lista fastest in Friday practice.
ALTON, Va., Aug. 30 - Even though the Doran-Lista team sat out the rainy morning practice session Friday at Virginia International Raceway, it still topped the time charts for the day when Didier Theys ran a lap at an average speed of 118.619 mph in the afternoon practice session, held under overcast conditions.
Theys' best lap in that session was his tenth trip around the 3.27-mile long course in the Doran-Lista Dallara Judd #27. He and Mauro Baldi will share the driving duties in Sunday's race, which was shortened to five hours instead of the six-hour event that was originally planned for the Grand Am Rolex Series' first visit to VIR.
The Dyson Racing Crawford Judd #16 of Chris Dyson and Andy Wallace was second-fastest for the day at 117.122 mph. The Sports Racing Prototype II Rand Racing entry of Ralf Kelleners and Niclas Jonsson was third-fastest, at 108.740 mph.
"We didn't run this morning because of the wet conditions," Theys said after the afternoon session. "When it's raining on Friday it's our policy to sit it out, but if it's wet tomorrow morning we'll definitely go out.
"This afternoon we basically saw how the changes we made yesterday worked. We made one downforce adjustment, and now I think we have a decent car."
The team participated in an open test session here Thursday, but no official times were kept that day.
Several cars went off-course during the afternoon practice session Friday and required tow-ins.
"The cars that went off-course caused there to be mud and dust everywhere on the track during this session," Theys noted. "This made the track very slippery. We ran conservatively, and we didn't even go out right away because the track was still wet. There is no point for me to play the broom."
Baldi didn't get any laps in on Friday but he did get some in Thursday to mark his first experience at VIR ever.
"The track is too narrow for racing, but for driving it's very nice," Baldi said. "I need some laps to feel confident, but we lost one session today because of rain. Hopefully I'll get more laps in tomorrow."
Tomorrow's schedule shows a one-hour practice session at 9:45 a.m. for the Rolex Series. Then the Doran-Lista team will go for its sixth pole of the season in a 15-minute qualifying session beginning at 1:05 p.m.
On Sunday there is a 25-minute practice session at 9 a.m. before the 500-mile/153-lap/five-hour race gets the green flag at 12:15 p.m.
Doran-Lista Racing, which is headquartered in Lebanon, Ohio, leads the top class, Sports Racing Prototype, in the Grand Am Rolex Series with 227 points to the Dyson #16 team with 222. The Dyson #20 team, which is not competing here this weekend, is third with 121 points.
Theys tops the SRP driver standings with 225 points over Chris Dyson with 216. No one else in the top 10 is competing here at VIR except Baldi, who is currently eighth.
Doran-Lista's other two regular drivers, Fredy Lienhard Jr. and Fredy Lienhard Sr., are fourth and 15th, respectively going into the VIR event.
Two races remain on the 2002 schedule after VIR: Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant in Quebec Sept. 13-15 and Daytona, Fla. Nov. 8-10.
The VIR race will be broadcast on a tape-delayed basis on SPEED Channel from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. ET on Sept. 7.