Both Doran Racing Nissans Finish in Top 10 in Class
Despite Challenges at CTMP
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario, July 12 — Despite some big challenges, both Doran Racing Nissan 370Zs finished in the top 10 in the top class, Grand Sport, in Saturday's Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
The #14 driven by Brad Jaeger of Charlottesville, Va., and B.J. Zacharias of Cincinnati finished eighth both overall and in the GS class despite an issue that affected the car's power production for most of the 2.5-hour race.
Jaeger qualified fifth on Friday with a 1:27.797. He set the #14's best lap of the race on lap two with a 1:28.852, but then was passed by two competitors on lap three and three more on lap four to drop to tenth. The team immediately began trying to diagnose and solve the problem as the car continued to circle the track.
The entry made eight pit stops in all during the race as the team was forced to try to get to the bottom of the problem while still racing. Somehow the crew was able not only to keep the car going, but its drivers posted consistent lap times that were only about 2 seconds slower than the leaders. They all worked hard and kept their wits about them throughout the race, and the entry only went one lap down at the very end, when no more positions could be gained.
Jaeger was in seventh due to pit stops when the driver change was made under yellow working lap 40, right before the halfway point. Zacharias rose as high as fifth due to other teams' pit stops before he took the checkered in eighth place.
The #41 driven by Nick McMillen of Salem, Ore., and Steven Doherty of Plainfield, Ill., started tenth and finished ninth in the GS class. Their car, which advertises Nissan's popular GT Academy, ran well but stopped twice on the side of the 2.459-mile, 10-turn road course.
McMillen lost power working lap 38 of the 85-lap race, bringing out the third of the race's five full-course caution flags with 65 minutes gone while running sixth. He'd just posted the fastest lap of his stint seven laps earlier, on lap 31, with a 1:29.410.
After he was towed into the pits and adjustments were made the car returned to the fray with Doherty behind the wheel. He posted the entry's best lap of the race on lap 57 with a 1:28.762, and he was running as fast or faster than the leaders at the end of the race before he suffered the same problem as McMillen had earlier. There was an exit area close to where he slowed, however, so he was able to avoid bringing out a full-course caution.
The race will be shown on Fox Sports 1 at noon Eastern on Sunday, July 19.
The next event is July 24-25 at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Conn.
Additional information is available on DoranRacing.com and the team's Facebook page.
Post-race quotes follow:
Brad Jaeger: "We had an issue with the engine, but the team stuck with it and stayed on the lead lap until the very end. Doran Racing did an amazing job to keep the car going. It's a testament to the reliability and the durability of the Nissan too, because despite the problem it kept on running. We were able to get a decent finish and collect some points.
"We had seven or eight pit stops as the team tried to diagnose the problem and service the vehicle and keep it on the lead lap. When you think about what the team went through to keep the car running, it was remarkable."
B.J. Zacharias: "Well the team fought hard today for an eighth-place finish. We had some running issues, and the team did a great job trying to deal with it.
"Brad drove a great opening stint and the crew was able to get the #14 in a couple times for service and try and diagnose the issue. We just did the best job we could with what was thrown at us today.
"It was a solid top 10 in points so we will take it. The car is in one piece, and it's on to Lime Rock in two weeks!"
Nick McMillen: "It was promising; we had potential, but I guess it just wasn't our day.
"At the beginning I got stuck behind a couple of Camaros. Then after the first restart, we started to struggle with a mechanical issue. The Doran crew tried to fix it and they worked very hard, but the car shut off at the end.
"It happened on the outside of the last corner. The safety workers towed me back in, and Steve got in. He suffered with the same mechanical issue as I had as well, but at least we both got some laps in and we both learned a new track this weekend. It's all good experience.
"I'm not going to do Lime Rock or Road America, but as of now I'll be back in the car at VIR and COTA. I'm not scheduled to do Road Atlanta either."
Steven Doherty: "If we didn't have bad luck, we'd have no luck. Again a random mechanical issue plagued us right around the one-hour mark. Nick was towed back to the paddock and the car was able to rejoin shortly after.
"I immediately had the same issue pulling out of the pits, but it cleared up right away. I was able to run with the leaders and had very good pace towards the end of the race, but the car once again shut off going down the Andretti straight. I was able to safely pull off in a marshal's turn-off area. The car would not re-fire, and that's where I finished out the race.
"I still feel pretty good coming out of this race even though it didn't go our way. I was able to get some good seat time and learn a new track. I was also able to get a chance to run with the leaders on a restart, which is a big confidence booster. Big thanks to the Doran team for getting the car back on the track so I could get the valuable seat time!"
For more information about the series, see imsa.com.
For more information on Doran Racing, see DoranRacing.com.
The team also has a Facebook page.