Doran Racing’s Jaeger and Swanson
Get Endurance Challenge GTM Win at Daytona on Friday
Among Numerous Other Class Wins During Classic 24 Weekend
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Nov. 10 — In a busy weekend of vintage sports car racing at Daytona International Speedway, Doran Racing’s Brad Jaeger and Kody Swanson won the GTM class of the B.R.M. Chronographes Endurance Challenge race Friday morning in the Lebanon, Ohio-based team’s 2008 Ford GT Mk 7 No. 12 sponsored by Glenn Farms of Woodland, Ga.
Jaeger, of Detroit, and Swanson, of Zionsville, Ind., placed fourth overall behind three Prototypes in the race on the 3.56-mile road course, which started at 10:40 a.m.
Late Thursday afternoon Jaeger finished second in the shorter Stoner Car Care Global GT Challenge race, just 0.539 of a second behind the winner, for another podium finish. His fastest race lap was a 1:50.391 on lap five of the eight-lap race, which was the fastest lap of any of the 24 entrants.
On Friday afternoon Swanson finished third overall and second in Group 10 in the first eight-lap race for Historic Sportscar Racing (HSR) Groups eight, nine and 10. His fastest race lap in that event, which featured 35 cars, was a 1:51.655 on lap four. He took the checkered flag 2.668 seconds after the overall runner-up did, and 13.910 seconds before the fourth-place finisher did.
On Saturday morning Swanson placed second overall and first in Group 10 in the second HSR race for the same groups, which was won overall by the entry of David Askew and Ryan Dalziel. Swanson’s best lap in that race was a 1:50.613 on lap seven of eight. That race featured 29 cars.
On Saturday and Sunday Jaeger and Swanson shared the driving duties in the sixth annual HSR Classic Daytona presented by IMSA. This event is run as a series of 24 separate races for different groups of vintage sports cars in a 24-hour time span, although this year’s event was stretched to 26 hours due to torrential rain and a power outage early Sunday morning.
Each group of cars competes in four races. The final group winners are determined by whoever covers the most distance in the shortest amount of time over the course of all four races combined. There are overall group winners as well as class winners within each race.
Doran Racing’s No. 12 was in Group F, which is for modern prototype and GT cars built from 2000 through 2018. It was the only Ford in the group.
Jaeger ran a terrific 1:49.765 in the Classic Daytona qualifying race on Friday afternoon, which was the fastest time set by the entry over the weekend. That was sixth fastest for Group F and was the fastest for GT in the group.
The team recorded outstanding runs in the race itself, winning the GT class in three of the four Group F races. It had overall finishes of fifth, sixth, 11th and fifth. When the cumulative results were tabulated the team finished seventh overall in Group F for the event and fourth in GT. The GT winner was the ASC Motorsports Corvette driven by Zach Arnold, which placed fourth overall.
Jaeger started fifth in the first race which kicked off the Classic Daytona at 1 p.m. Saturday afternoon. He set the entry’s fastest lap of the race on lap 2 with a time of 1:51.486. He maintained fifth through lap 10 until a Protype shared by Chris Ronson Sr. and Jim Downing passed him, but on the next lap Jaeger passed that car back to regain fifth. That race ended under a full-course caution on lap 22 with Jaeger as the GT winner.
Swanson started fourth in the second race, which was held under the lights at 11 p.m. Saturday night. The Prototype of Carlos and Michael deQuesada and Scooter Gabel passed him working lap three to push him to fifth overall, but Swanson regained fourth on lap 12 when the leading Prototype of J.C. France, Joao Barbosa and Tim Jenurm fell back. He found himself in third overall with 14 laps down when difficulties struck a LMP2 car shared by James Hagan and Tommy Bryne.
The France Prototype got by Swanson and others and stormed back into the overall lead on lap 15, pushing Swanson back to fourth. Two other faster cars got by on lap 16 to relegate him to sixth, and he was still in that spot when the checkered waved on lap 23 with Swanson as the GT winner. Arnold finished seventh overall, 26.079 seconds behind Swanson. Swanson’s best lap was lap 11, which he turned in 1:52.146.
The team’s third race was supposed to start at 5 a.m. Sunday morning, but that’s when the storm and power outage occurred. Since this is vintage racing the original plan was to not compete should it rain, but at the last minute the team decided to go out on a drying but still wet track when the race actually began at 7 a.m. Jaeger joined the field in 12th place and two laps down, which was a deficient that was impossible to make up. Jaeger passed Alejandro Pimentel’s Porsche 997.1 Cup car on lap 18 for 11th place overall before the race ended under a full-course caution with 18 laps complete.
The fourth and final race started at 1 p.m. with Swanson seventh on the grid. He had an excellent start, rising to third by the end of lap one, and he was 0.583 of a second ahead of Arnold.
He kept getting faster, surpassing his fastest lap of the race on laps two, three, four and five while in third place.
A Prototype shared by William Hubbell and Eric Curran passed him on lap seven to push him back to fourth. He set his fastest lap of the race on lap eight with a time of 1:51.271, right before the Ronson/Downing Prototype got by on lap nine to relegate him to fifth, but he was a whopping 17.271 seconds ahead of Arnold, who was running sixth.
Swanson was still fifth when a full-course caution waved with 11 laps down to tighten up the field and put Arnold right behind him, but Swanson kept Arnold behind him the rest of the way to finish fifth overall and first in class. He was 13.641 seconds ahead of Arnold at the checkered on lap 21.
Brad Jaeger: “The car was quick, and the Doran team did a fantastic job to give us another reliable, fast car. It was an absolute pleasure to drive the Ford GT with Kody again.
“We turned some incredibly fast times. It was only Kody’s second weekend on a road course, and it was a pleasure to coach him throughout the weekend. His times were so fast and so consistent. We would talk about something, and the next session he would go out and do it. He was consistent and right where he needed to be considering the life of the tires. He was getting more comfortable in the car throughout the weekend too.
“One of my highlights was winning the B.R.M. Chronographes Endurance Challenge race on Friday, which was great.
“Then in qualifying for the Classic I ran a 49.7 which was great for me, so that was another highlight. We had changed tire compounds from what we ran here last year, and we did a fair amount of work on the balance of the car early. The Michelins gave us plenty of grip throughout the weekend.
“I think we were in line to win the class in the Classic except for that third race. Our plan was never to run in the rain. A huge downpour took out the power for most of the infield, including the timing and scoring system and most of the garages. It took them two hours to get that back on. It wasn’t actively raining when we went out, but the track was totally saturated. It was a drying track, but very wet. But we kept the car in one piece and it rolled back on the transporter at the end of the weekend in good shape.
“We turned in some very fast times and had some fun with it. Hopefully we’ll be back next year and win it! I’ve enjoyed all the opportunities I’ve had to run the Doran Racing Ford GT.”
Kody Swanson: “I had a great time in Daytona with HSR and the Classic 24 Hour. It is such a unique event for me personally, and with it being my first chance to return, it was something I was really looking forward to all year. I felt like I continued to learn about the car and this type of racing, and made every effort to improve each time on the track.
“Thanks to Kevin, the crew at Doran Racing for their effort, and everyone who makes it all possible for us! And to Brad Jaeger; he has been a great teammate and lead driver. Over the past two years he has helped me improve as a driver, and the two of us as a team for these co-driver endurance events. I'm thankful for his willingness to coach me along the way. I know I enjoyed the entire event from the time on the track to being in the garage with the team, and am looking forward to a chance to do it again!"
For more information on Doran Racing, see DoranRacing.com.
The team also has a Facebook page.