Doran Racing Hopes to Finish Season with a Flourish
LEBANON, Ohio, Sept. 14 — Sometimes the fastest car doesn't win the race.
The Doran Racing Nissan 370Zs were the fastest cars in the most recent Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race at VIRginia International Raceway on Aug. 22, but circumstances kept them off the podium. The final two events of the season will be held at venues that might not be as advantageous to the 370Z as VIR is, but whether they're fastest or not the Doran Nissans will be in the hunt and going full-bore towards victories. If they can stay clean until the end, all they'll need is a little bit of the good racing luck they didn't get at VIR.
The team's next challenge is a 2.5-hour race at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas this Friday, Sept. 18. The season finale is Oct. 2-3 at Road Atlanta.
The Lebanon, Ohio-based team's #14 driven by Brad Jaeger and B.J. Zacharias has four podium finishes in the last six races, including a second-place finish at Road America in which it was just 0.314 of a second behind the winner. Jaeger, of Charlottesville, Va., and Zacharias, of Cincinnati, are a potent combination and they're definitely hungry. They're currently fourth in the Grand Sport driver point standings, only four points out of third.
The team's sister car, the #41 Nissan 370Z, will be driven by two Nicks: Nick McMillen of Salem, Ore., and Nic Hammann of Elkhart Lake, Wis. They're both champions of Nissan's popular GT Academy, which takes gamers and trains them to be real race car drivers. McMillen won the GT Academy championship in 2013 while Hammann did the same in 2014.
Although both are rookies in the CTSCC series and they're making their first starts at COTA, their on-track performances have been impressive. They're both proof that there's something to be said for doing one's homework, no matter what the subject. COTA is scheduled to be McMillen's last race with Doran Racing this year, as Hammann and Steven Doherty are slated to be behind the wheel of the #41 at Road Atlanta.
The action gets underway at COTA's 3.4-mile, 20-turn, state-of-the-art road course on Wednesday with a practice session at 1:25 p.m. The following day there's another practice session at 9:20 a.m. before the GS class qualifies at 2:05 p.m. Friday's race starts at 12:40 p.m. All times are local.
The race will be broadcast live on IMSA.com, and will air from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Sept. 27 on Fox Sports 1. Those times are Eastern.
Doran Racing would like to thank the fans for their support that allowed the team to win the $1,500 Visual Studio Team to Win award for Road America. More information is available at https://teamtowin.net/doran-racing-wins-visual-studio-team-to-win-award-at-road-america-vir-nominees-announced/.
Additional information is available on DoranRacing.com and the team's Facebook page.
Driver pre-race quotes follow:
Brad Jaeger: "Last year, B.J. and Doran Racing did an amazing job to get the car back together and battle back from that first-lap incident that caused suspension damage. Hopefully this year we'll be able to stay clean.
"COTA has a mixture of types of turns. There are about four really slow turns, which will give an advantage to the cars with V8 engines and more torque than we have. But the track also offers a nice balance of faster and flowing turns in addition to a long back straightaway, which should let the Nissan 370Z really shine. It will be interesting to see how all the different cars in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge line up against each other after the first practice.
(About the points battle) "We certainly can move up to third in the championship. To move up to third, we need to have a clean race and target finishing on the podium. The key to doing well is having a clean race!
"I have some family in Dallas who will be traveling down for the race. Last year they surprised me by showing up in the middle of the race, and somehow managed to talk their way into the pits! It was wonderful to see them in our pit-box when I got out of the car."
B.J. Zacharias: "I'm looking forward to getting back at it at COTA. VIR was just a heartbreaker, so it will be a little more emotional fuel on the fire. We have a strong package and we're looking forward to getting back on the podium."
Nick McMillen: "I think with any race, we don't know what's going to happen until race day comes along! I'm itching to get back in the Doran Racing Nissan 370Z with Nic Hammann and get some redemption at Circuit of The Americas. Our pace has been very strong these last few races but we've been unable to capitalize on that, unfortunately.
"I have never raced in Austin but I'm expecting a great track and a good end result on the race weekend. Patience will be key for us, as it has proven to produce results this season. Minimize mistakes, no accidents, just clean and clear laps should keep us in striking distance of a good finish. A podium result has eluded the 41 all season, and since this is my last scheduled race for the season, I will be doing my best to end up on the box. We will see how the cards unfold in Austin!"
Nic Hammann: "I am really looking forward to getting back in the Doran Racing GT Academy Nissan 370Z with Nick McMillen and put the struggles of VIR behind me. Racing at Circuit of Americas is surreal. I feel like it was just yesterday I saw this track being built, and to now race there all thanks to Nissan and GT Academy is incredible!
"I really am looking forward to taking corner one in the 370Z, and since I have never been to the circuit I am going to have to ask a lot of questions to B.J. and Brad to get acclimated to the circuit as fast as possible. I cannot thank those two enough for all their help throughout the last few races. I have been traveling to tracks I have never seen before, but thanks to them, I am able to get on track and get up to speed fairly quick, and I hope to continue this trend at COTA.
"I believe the keys to success at the circuit are keeping up with the front pack and staying out of trouble. Kevin and the team do a great job preparing the cars and I know we will have the speed to run up front. It just comes down to me adapting to the circuit as quick as possible and not making any mistakes during the race. I believe if I can hand the car off to Nick in the top five we will have a great finish!
"Two weekends ago, I was racing in Sonoma, Calif. with Skullcandy Team Nissan in their GT Academy GTS 370Z. I was able to learn a lot that weekend and I hope to apply that information at COTA. We had a power steering issue on Saturday but rebounded on Sunday, finishing sixth in the race. I really enjoyed racing out in California and I can't wait for COTA!
"Thank you to the team for all their help preparing the #41 GT Academy Doran Racing Nissan 370Z after the accident at VIR. I know a lot of sweat and hours were put forth in repairing the car and I hope to get a solid top-five finish to showcase all their time and effort."
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.