Hot News & Press from Doran Racing



On a track turned into a skating rink by torrential rain, Lebanon, Ohio-based Doran Racing parlayed its ‘home track advantage’ into yet another top-7 finish in last weekend’s EMCO Gears Classic Grand-Am race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.  Burt Frisselle, partnered for the first time with young phenom Ricky Taylor, qualified 7th on the grid and brought the #47 Doran Racing/CDOC Dallara Ford home in 7th place.  This marks the fifth top-10 finish for the 2-car Doran Racing team, three of them scored by the #47 car, including 9th at Mexico City in the car’s first race and 8th at Virginia International Raceway.

“It was all about survival this weekend; this was the hardest race of my career, no joke,” said Frisselle, who has been racing Daytona Prototypes in the Grand-Am Rolex series since 2004.  “I have to thank our sponsor CDOC for stepping up to the plate this weekend, the Doran Racing crew and Ford for providing us with an engine so powerful that it was difficult to drive the car under the conditions.  We were battling for a top-5 finish toward the end, but it didn’t quite happen and we’re satisfied with 7th under the circumstances because it shows yet again that this team is really hitting its stride and that we will be a factor in every race for the rest of the season.  And Ricky Taylor did a phenomenal job for being thrown in the deep end on his first race with the team.  He and I work together extremely well, and we’ll be teamed for at least the next two races at Daytona and Barber Motorsports Park.  Hopefully we can get a deal done with him for the rest of the season.”

Taylor is the 19 year-old son of Rolex Series champion Wayne Taylor and, when not in a race car, attends Lake Highland Preparatory School in Orlando, Florida, where he plays on the varsity soccer team.  Mid-Ohio marked his third-ever Daytona Prototype race, including this year’s Rolex 24 at Daytona driving for his father’s SunTrust team and a stint with the Beyer Racing team at Virginia International Raceway.  In 2007, Taylor finished second in Skip Barber National Championship with two wins, five poles and five podiums.  He won the Skip Barber Southern Series in 2006 with six wins, three poles and 12 podiums.  He has also raced in the Stars of Karting series.

“This weekend was a major learning experience for me,” says Taylor.  “I had to learn the track, where the grip was, the driving styles of other drivers on the track, the way the Doran team operates and a hundred other things.  Burt really helped me get up to speed quickly and the entire Doran team made me feel at home, so I’m looking forward to the next two races and hope to work with the team for the rest of the season.”

Doran Racing’s other car, the #77 Kodak Doran/Dallara Ford co-driven by Memo Gidley and Cincinnati, Ohio native Brad Jaeger, had a potential top-5 finish derailed in the opening laps when Jaeger rounded Turn One to discover a torrential downpour and a track full of stalled and spinning race cars. 

“"It was extremely slippery out there, and it caught us out, just like everyone else," says Jaeger, who co-drove with Gidley to a top-5 finish in the previous event at Watkins Glen.  "We started on slicks

and it was drizzling a bit on the warmup lap, but when the tires got up to temperature, the car felt OK.  I had just talked to the team on the radio about the conditions and we were planning to come in on lap

6 for rain tires, but as I went into Turn 1, they were waving the debris flag.  I slowed down quite a bit but when I came around the corner there were cars stopped on the track, cars spinning, it was a mess.  I tried to miss everyone but hit a slick part of the track, slid and ended up clipping one of the stopped cars.  This damaged the radiator, so we had to pit and the Doran crew did a tremendous job to get the job done in just five laps and get us back on track."

The trip to the pits for repairs kept the car off-track for five laps, and though the duo put in a heroic drive for the remainder of the 2-hour and 45-minute event, the #77 car was credited with a 15th-place finish.  Gidley, the very talented and widely respected American driver who was born in La Paz, Mexico and now makes his home in Novato, California, has made a name for himself as one of the most committed drivers in the paddock, driving and winning in everything from karts to Indy Cars and stock cars to prototypes. 

““They put some sealer down on the track before the race and it made the surface so slippery that even a fast car felt slow,” said Gidley.  “We were in the top-5 or top-7 in most of the pre-race practice sessions, and if it had been a dry race, we’d have been fighting for a top-5 finish at least.  But winding up five laps down that early in the race, there’s just no way you can make it up so you just have to tiptoe around and try to make up places one at a time when other cars spin or have problems.  I’m ready for the next race at Daytona, one of my favorite tracks, and look forward to another shot at getting the #77 Kodak car on the podium."

The two cars the Doran Racing team will field at Daytona and throughout the 2008 Rolex Series season look the same, but are different underneath.  The #47 car is all-Dallara, while the #77 car is a Doran chassis fitted with Dallara bodywork featuring enhanced aerodynamics and increased downforce.  Both cars are powered by 500 horsepower Roush-Yates Ford V-8 engines.

Doran Enterprises is Dallara's official spare parts distributor and approved repair center for that series. In addition, Doran Designs will fabricate certain special parts for the marque.  Doran Racing has a successful history of working with Dallara and won the Daytona 24 Hours in 2002 with a Dallara Sportscar LMP1.  While Doran Racing has prepared and fielded race cars in a wide variety of series for many years, from Indy cars to NASCAR trucks, the Lebanon, Ohio-based team is particularly noted for its successes in sports car endurance racing, including being the first and only team in U.S. history to win the 24 Hours at Daytona, the 12 Hours of Sebring and the Watkins Glen Six-Hour race in the same year (1998).

The next race on the schedule is the Brumos Porsche 250, a unique event even in the unique format of the Rolex Series.  Practice, qualifying and the 250-mile/2-hr. 45-min. race all take place on the same day, Thursday, July 3.  Qualifying takes place from 1:45 pm to 2:00 pm, and the race is scheduled to take the green flag under the lights at 8:00 pm Thursday evening.  The race will air live on SPEED TV. 



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