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Doran Racing's Lienhard and Theys
Enter Maserati in ALMS Race
At Road America Aug. 10-11
LEBANON, Ohio, Aug. 1 - Three of the most successful men in American sports
car racing have entered a Maserati MC12 in the American Le Mans Series' next
race, the Generac 500 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis., Aug. 10-11.
Owner/driver Fredy Lienhard of Niederteufen, Switzerland and Belgium's Didier
Theys of Scottsdale, Ariz., will drive the blue No. 27 prepared by Kevin
Doran of Doran Racing, Lebanon, Ohio. The three men have a long and very
successful history racing together in endurance sports car events, including
back-to-back overall victories in this very race in 2000 and 2001 when another
sanctioning body organized the event.
Lista, Making Workspace Work, the worldwide leader in modular storage units,
will be the primary sponsor of the Maserati, which will compete in the ALMS'
GT1 class. Lista Office, a state-of-the-art office furniture company, is an
associate sponsor. The team will use Michelin tires.
Road America will be this particular car's first race ever. Its appearance is
expected to add much excitement to the event, especially for those around the
world who share a passion for the Trident marque and its storied history.
Lienhard purchased the Maserati, chassis number ZAMDF44B000024053, for his
private car collection last year. The team tested the car for a day and a half
in June at Road America, which went very well, so the privateers decided to see
for themselves how competitive they could be against the very powerful and
well-funded factory Corvettes.
Theys admits he doesn't know how they will fare against such strong
competition, but he is enthusiastic about the opportunity to drive the car at Road
America, one of his favorite tracks.
"I have no idea how competitive we will be against the factory Corvettes," he
said. "They have so much experience and they are a factory effort, and we are
a small, private team. I have very little experience in a modern GT car, but
I was really enthused about the Maserati after driving it at the test. In the
little bit of time I spent in the car I really enjoyed it, and it will be a
new experience for me.
"The only other time I drove a modern GT car was in one race last year in
Brazil, when I drove a Saleen," he continued. "But I enjoyed driving the
Maserati at the test, and I'm really happy that Kevin Doran is involved; it will be
like in the old days.
"I also love Road America," Theys added. "I raced there for the first time
in 1985 in Super Vees. The following year I started last in a Super Vee race
there and finished second. I've raced there probably four or five times in Indy
cars too, and then after that in sports cars. Fredy, Mauro Baldi and I won
there in 2000 and 2001."
"It will be a new challenge for all of us, and it comes on a very challenging
track," Lienhard concurred. At 4.048 miles and 14 turns, Road America is the
second-longest road course in the United States.
The MC12 Theys and Lienhard will drive is the FIA GT1 version. It has a
V-12, six-liter aluminum engine; a six-gear, sequential gearbox, and it uses a
Marelli electronic management system. Its carbon brakes are by Brembo. Its
bodywork and chassis are made of carbon fiber.
Both Theys and Lienhard were part of the driving squad for Doran Racing's
Rolex 24 victory in 2002. That was one of just many victories for Doran Racing,
which was the first and only team in U.S. history to win the 24 Hours of
Daytona, the 12 Hours of Sebring and the Watkins Glen Six-Hour race in the same year
If things goes as hoped at Road America, Lienhard said the team would also
enter the Maserati in the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta Motorsports Park in
Braselton, Ga., on Oct. 6.
Should they also enter that race, Theys said the team's third driver for that
event will likely be Eric van de Poele of Incourt, Belgium, who has been
racing with Lienhard and Theys all year in the Lista Office-sponsored Horag Racing
Lola Judd in the Le Mans Series in Europe. They won that series' season
opener, the 1,000 Kilometers of Monza, in April in the LMP2 class.
Along with Thomas Biagi, Michael Bartles and Pedro Lamy, van de Poele also
finished second in class at the 24 Hours of Spa last Sunday in the Vitaphone
Maserati MC12. It was one of four MC12s in the top seven in that race. Maserati
currently leads Corvette by 35 points in the FIA GT manufacturer point
standings, but Corvette has run virtually unchallenged for most of the year in the
ALMS' GT1 division.
The action at Road America will get underway with testing Thursday afternoon,
Aug. 9. Qualifying for the GT1 and GT2 divisions will be held at 2:30 p.m.
Central time on Friday, Aug. 10. The four-hour race will get the green flag at
4 p.m. Central time on Saturday, Aug. 11. Live timing and scoring and the
ALMS radio coverage will be available on imsaracing.net. NBC will broadcast the
highlights in a two-hour program beginning at 2:30 p.m. Eastern time on
Sunday, Aug. 12.
Lista's Web site is at listaintl.com. Lista Office's Web site is at
lista-office.com. The series' Web site is at americanlemans.com. Doran Racing's Web
site is at doranracing.com, and the track's Web site is at roadamerica.com.
Information on Maserati can be found at both maserati.com and maseraticorse.com.