Theys and the Doran-Lista Dallara Judd ...
Theys and the Doran-Lista Dallara Judd #27 earn fifth pole of the season Thursday at the Glen, rewriting the team's own track record.
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y., Aug. 8 - If somebody was going to do it, Mauro Baldi is glad it was Didier Theys.
The Doran-Lista Racing team saw its "short-course" track record fall in qualifying Thursday at Watkins Glen International, but nobody on the team was nostalgic about it because the Lebanon, Ohio-based team is the new record-holder too.
Didier Theys turned the fastest lap in qualifying Thursday afternoon on the Glen's 2.45-mile short course in the Doran-Lista Dallara Judd #27 to earn the pole for tomorrow's Bully Hill 250 Grand Am Rolex Series race, bettering the old mark set by Doran-Lista's Mauro Baldi last year by 0.726 seconds.
It was the team's fifth pole and second new track record of the season. This event is the seventh in the 10-race 2002 Rolex Sports Car Series.
Theys' fastest lap came in the middle of the 15-minute qualifying session when he was clocked at an average speed of 140.245 mph. The Scottsdale, Ariz.-based driver, who is joined behind the wheel by Fredy Lienhard Jr. of Erlen, Switzerland and Santa Barbara, Calif., for this race, will be joined on the front row by the Dyson Racing #20 of Butch Leitzinger and Rob Dyson, who were second-fastest at 139.029 mph. That entry's team car, the Dyson #16 of James Weaver and Chris Dyson, was third at 138.791 mph.
The Doran-Lista team, the points leader in the Sports Racing Prototype class in the Grand American Road Racing Association, quickly solved an electrical problem with the car's fuel pump in the morning practice session prior to snaring the headlines for the day Thursday with its stellar qualifying run.
"Things are going pretty good," said Kevin Doran, team owner and manager. "In the practice session tonight we'll be working to get a better aerodynamic balance in the car, and we'll try to get more durability with our tires.
"And maybe we'll even try to go a little faster," he added with a smile.
Lienhard was behind the wheel in the morning when the car experienced the fuel pump problem, causing him to stall twice on the course. This race is the promising rookie's first one on the Glen's short course, so he was disappointed that he wasn't able to turn more laps in that session. At press time he was getting some laps in, however, during the evening practice session.
"We missed the first practice session because of the problem with the fuel pump, but we had a good session in the afternoon," reported Theys just prior to the evening practice session. "We had two good days of testing at Virginia International Raceway a couple of weeks ago, and that helped. We know the car a little better now since that test.
"The car is quite good now," Theys continued. "The balance is quite decent. We'll work on a little understeer we have, but the car was good when it rolled off the transporter here. It is definitely better than it was at Daytona last month."
The team won the pole for that race too, and finished second. So far this year it has three victories, including the most prestigious endurance sports car race in North America, the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona; two seconds and one fourth-place finish.
Tomorrow's race will begin after NASCAR Winston Cup qualifying, or approximately 6 p.m. Eastern time. If the leader hasn't completed 250 miles or 103 laps by 8:30 p.m., the checkered will be thrown at that time and the winner declared.
The event will be broadcast on SPEED Channel at 1 p.m. ET Sunday. That coverage will re-air at 8 p.m. ET that night and again at 1 a.m. ET on Monday.
For more information, see www.doranracing.com, www.lista.com, www.grand-am.com and www.restartcommunications.com.