Watkins Glen II: Doran-Lista Racing preview

Doran-Lista Racing, Theys and Auberlen to Debut Toyota-Powered DORAN JE4 at the Glen LEBANON, Ohio, Aug. 5 - A brand-new Toyota-powered DORAN JE4 will be introduced to the endurance sports car world at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen,...

Doran-Lista Racing, Theys and Auberlen to Debut Toyota-Powered DORAN JE4 at the Glen

LEBANON, Ohio, Aug. 5 - A brand-new Toyota-powered DORAN JE4 will be introduced to the endurance sports car world at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, N.Y., at the Bully Hills Vineyards 250 Grand Am Rolex Series race Thursday and Friday.

Doran-Lista Racing, which finished second for the last three years in the series' premier class, will field the car, which was designed and built at Doran Enterprises' headquarters in Lebanon, Ohio.

Its drivers will be Didier Theys of Scottsdale, Ariz., the 2002 Grand Am Rolex Series Sports Racing Prototype driver champion, and Bill Auberlen of Hermosa Beach, Calif. The latter, who did an excellent job for the team at a recent American Le Mans Series (ALMS) race, will again be substituting for Fredy Lienhard Sr. of Niederteufen, Switzerland.

The new Toyota-powered car joins a Chevrolet-powered DORAN JE4 fielded by Bell Motorsports which already has three overall victories and five podium finishes in class in the eight events run so far in the 12-race series. Its drivers are Terry Borcheller and Forest Barber. Theys joined the Bell Motorsports team for two races so far this year, including the six-hour race at the Glen in June. The DORAN JE4 Chevy almost won that one too, finishing a close second.

The bright red DORAN JE4 Toyota will carry the same number, 27, that the Doran-Lista team used when it won the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in 2002 with its Dallara.

The team tested the new DORAN JE4 Toyota for the first time last Friday in a private session at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.

"We had no hiccups; no problems; we had a real good shake-down," team owner Kevin Doran said Friday evening after the test. "We probably ran 250 miles and we had no problems at all. We used one set of tires; the car was consistent and we were able to make it quicker, so we're pretty happy with the way things went."

Theys and Columbus, Ohio-based sports car racer John Fergus drove the car for its initial test at Mid-Ohio.

At press time the DORAN JE4 Toyota is one of seven Daytona Prototypes entered in a 29-car field for Friday's race.

"There is always work to be done with a new car, but Kevin Doran and the rest of the Doran-Lista team are so professional that I'm sure we'll have a very good car at the Glen even though it will be brand new," said Theys. "Our years of working together as a team will be a great help, because Kevin already knows my preferences in car set-up and we work together well."

"Bell Motorsports has had great success with the Chevrolet-powered DORAN JE4, and we hope to have similar success with the Toyota version," Doran said. " We worked hard to make the DORAN JE4 the best Daytona Prototype that the rules allow, and we've been very pleased with the car to date. The DORAN JE4 has already proven that it's a winner and this Toyota engine is well-established; now we just need to sell cars."

Additional DORAN JE4s are under construction at the team's headquarters in Ohio and are available for purchase by calling Doran Racing at (513) 336-0819.

Practice will be held on Thursday from 11 a.m. until noon and again from 2 p.m. until 3:45 p.m. The Daytona Prototypes will qualify in a 15-minute session at 4:30 p.m. that day. One more hour of practice on the Glen's 2.45-mile short course will start at 7 p.m.

Friday's race is scheduled for 250 miles/103 laps; a length of two hours and 45 minutes; or it will end at 8:30 p.m., depending on which comes first. The event starts after NASCAR Winston Cup qualifying concludes, which will probably be around 6 p.m.

The race will be broadcast on a tape-delayed basis on Sunday at 5 p.m. on SPEED Channel.

All times are Eastern.

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Didier Theys , Bill Auberlen , Terry Borcheller , John Fergus , Forest Barber , Kevin Doran
Teams Doran Racing