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Doran Racing's Theys
Is Just 1.005 Off the GT1 Pole
With New Lista Maserati
In Qualifying for Tomorrow's Generac 500
ALMS Race at Road America
ELKHART LAKE, Wis., Aug. 10 - As expected, the two factory Corvettes finished
first and second in GT1 qualifying for the Generac 500 ALMS race Friday at
Road America. Didier Theys and the Doran Racing crew were the ones who made the
news, as Theys qualified just 1.005 off the pole and 0.919 off second place
with a brand-new Doran Racing Maserati MC 12 that is only the second GT car
Theys has competed in during his 30 years as a race car driver.
The Scottsdale, Ariz.-based driver, who has a very distinguished record
racing Prototypes, didn't know what his times were as he logged them in the
20-minute GT1/GT2 qualifying session due to a technical problem. That didn't stop
him from using his knowledge of Road America and his expertise behind the wheel
of any race car to go faster each lap. Theys already had the press room
taking notice with 5 minutes to go in the session, but the insiders were really
impressed when he set his fastest lap on his sixth and final trip around the
4.048-mile, 14-turn road course, and did it with a lap that was so close to those
posted by the multi-million dollar Corvette factory team.
The official qualifying time for the Lista, Making Workspace Work and Lista
Office-sponsored No. 27 was a 2:01.978 for an average speed of 119.471 miles
per hour. Jan Magnussen got the class pole with a 2:00.973 (120.463 mph) and
Olivier Beretta was second with a 2:01.059 (120.378 mph).
Theys will be in the 16th starting spot overall when the four-hour race
begins at 4 p.m. Central time tomorrow. The two factory Corvettes will be in 14th
and 15th. After Theys' stint he'll hand the blue, Michelin-shod No. 27 off to
car owner/driver Fredy Lienhard of Niederteufen, Switzerland.
With the great qualifying results, the well-respected Doran Racing crew of
Lebanon, Ohio preparing the car and servicing it during pit stops, and with
endurance sports car legend Kevin Doran directing it all and masterminding the
race strategy from the pits, hopes are high for a good result in tomorrow's race
despite the fact that the car is new to all involved.
Fans can keep up with the action through live timing and scoring and reports
on imsaracing.net. NBC will broadcast the highlights in a two-hour program
beginning at 2:30 p.m. Eastern time on Sunday.
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.
Theys' post-qualifying quote follows:
"The lap times weren't being displayed on the dash and our beacon wasn't
working for some reason, so I had no idea what times we were running. So, I just
pushed it as hard as I could. As the session progressed I found some places I
could go faster.
"I just wish now that we had a day or two of testing to improve the car even
more. If I had more experience in the car I would have jumped the rear wing a
hole. Without the understeer we would have had another second.
"But the whole car is more stable than it was yesterday. We've made
improvements every session.
"We're very pleased with the consistency of our Michelin tires. The compound
we chose might have been too soft for this weather, but they were very
consistent and I think it will be a good choice for the race.
"We don't have experience with this configuration, but we'll do our best.
Our number one goal is still to finish the race. That is what is most important