Doran-Lista to start second tomorrow after half of qualifying is rained out at Virginia International Raceway saturday. ALTON, Va., Aug. 31 - With standing water on the track making conditions perilous, qualifying for the Sports Racing Prototype...
Doran-Lista to start second tomorrow after half of qualifying is rained out at Virginia International Raceway saturday.
ALTON, Va., Aug. 31 - With standing water on the track making conditions perilous, qualifying for the Sports Racing Prototype and Sports Racing Prototype II classes was rained out Saturday afternoon at Virginia International Raceway after a few cars made one or two laps.
The Grand American Road Racing Association officials ruled that the starting lineup for tomorrow's race will be determined by the current point standings. The SRPII class leader, the Rand Racing/Risi Competizione Lola Nissan #8, has more total points than the SRP class point leader, the Doran-Lista Racing #27 (235 to 227), so that car will start on the pole and Didier Theys will start second in tomorrow's race in the Doran-Lista Dallara Judd #27. The other classes (GT and AGT) got their qualifying session in but they'll start behind the SRP and SRPII competitors in the 22-car grid.
It was the sixth class pole position of the season for the Lebanon, Ohio-based Doran-Lista team and Theys, a native of Belgium who lives in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Theys and teammate Mauro Baldi will share the driving duties in tomorrow's five-hour/500-mile/153-lap race, which is scheduled to start at 12:15 p.m. The race will be broadcast on a tape-delayed basis on SPEED Channel from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. ET on Sept. 7.
Saturday morning the Doran-Lista team ran its best lap of the weekend so far when its 24th lap in that practice session was run at an average speed of 119.678 mph. The best lap of its closest competitor, the Dyson Crawford Judd #16, was 117.911 mph, with the Rand/Risi #8 third at 111.028 mph. (The Dyson Crawford Judd #16 will start third in the race.)
"It was a good decision to stop qualifying," said Theys, who made one lap before the qualifying session was called off. "In some places it was like a river. The asphalt is so black that you have trouble seeing the standing water. For me it was more scary on the straightaways than in the corners. When you start to slide in the corners you deal with it, but on the straights you're just a passenger. The layer of water between the asphalt and the tires just has nowhere to go."
"The rain is disappointing for the fans and all the great people at VIR, but the Grand Am officials made the right call," said team owner Kevin Doran, noting that it would be unfortunate if cars crashed during qualifying and were unable to compete in tomorrow's race.
"With five overall poles for the season and only three wins, we hope to win a few more yet this year and start working on that win ratio," Doran added.