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Doran Racing's Nissans to Tackle
IMS's Newly-Tweaked Road Course
In Friday's CTSCC Race at the Brickyard
LEBANON, Ohio, July 23 - This Thursday and Friday Doran Racing and other IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge teams will tackle the tabernacle of speed, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, culminating in a 2.5-hour race at 2:30 p.m. Friday on the track's recently tweaked 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course.
The Lebanon, Ohio-based team's Nissans are two of 24 entries in the Grand Sport class, which will join 31 cars in the Street Tuner division for a rollicking onslaught of the 105-year-old facility which is also the world's largest seating facility with over 250,000 permanent seats. Some fans will bring their own blankets or folding chairs, however, and watch from several viewing mounds strategically situated adjacent to the infield road course that also uses part of the track's historic 2.5-mile oval.
The circuit was tweaked prior to the Verizon IndyCar Series race on the road course in May, so the track will be a bit different than what the teams encountered during the series' first two races here in 2012 and 2013.
A Doran Racing Nissan 370Z sat on the pole for the series' inaugural race here, and this year the team has prepared two Nissans for the race. They're the #14 Doran Racing Nissan NISMO 370Z RC driven by Brad Jaeger of Charlottesville, Va., and B.J. Zacharias of Cincinnati, and the #41 Tower Events Nissan 370Z driven by Toronto-based drivers John Farano and David Empringham.
In addition to earning the pole for the first CTSCC race at the Brickyard, the Doran Racing #14 led five laps of that race. The entry posted the fourth-fastest race lap and Zacharias and co-driver Bryan Heitkotter finished tenth.
Jaeger qualified ninth for the race last year and he and Zaharias placed 13th.
Fans can learn more about the effort by watching the interview Zacharias did on Don Kay's AutosportRadio.com show on Tuesday night. It was streamed live and it will be posted in the archives on that Web site soon.
The on-track action begins at 9 a.m. Thursday with a 1.5-hour practice session. A 1-hour practice session follows at 12:30 p.m., right before qualifying is held for the GS class at 3:30 p.m. that day to set the grid for Friday's race at 2:30 p.m. The pre-race ceremonies are slated to begin at 2:10 p.m. All times are Eastern.
The race will be carried live on imsa.com, and on a tape-delayed basis at noon Eastern Aug. 3 on Fox Sports 1.
For more information on Doran Racing, see DoranRacing.com and the team's Facebook page.
Driver pre-race quotes follow:
Brad Jaeger: "We need to have a good result at Indianapolis, and I believe we can do it. A top-five finish would be great, and in order to do that we have to have a clean race. Last year the Nissan 370Z performed quite well at the Speedway even though we had engine trouble in the race.
"There's no question that the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has a special aura to it! My first race at the Speedway was in 2007, but every time I walk or drive through the gates I get goosebumps thinking of the great drivers, engineers and cars that have raced on the circuit. It would be very special if B.J. and I could win at IMS.
"The Nissan 370Z performed quite well here in the past. Hopefully we'll be able to find a good balance and have a nice, clean race."
B.J. Zacharias: "After the disappointment we had at Mosport, I'm really looking forward to getting back at it, and quickly.
"Both cars for the most part are in one piece so this should help the crew out a lot. I still have to really tip my hat off to the entire team and Kevin for getting the newer 41 chassis out for Mosport.
"We have had really good success in qualifying at Indy, but the race has seemed to get away from us the last two years there.
"The new road course will be a bit interesting. David had an opportunity to test a couple weeks ago around the new configuration, so his input is going to be extremely critical to the team.
"I have always envisioned racing at the Speedway, so with our series being fortunate enough to race there it makes it possible and it is truly an honor.
"I think everyone looks at the schedule and thinks to themselves how much of an honor it would mean to win in that house. It isn't as prestigious as winning the Indianapolis 500;
that race is on a pedestal by itself. But winning on those sacred grounds, at that facility would be a great accomplishment.
"It's been an up-and-down season. It seems like we have a good race and then a bad one. I'm looking forward to making the rest of them all good.
"The 14 car took a bit of a hit in the point standing and now my focus is helping the guys back into the fight. It's not over, by any means."
David Empringham: "John and I certainly haven't had the best of luck this year! We're hoping that luck turns around for Indy. The track layout is slightly different this year, so we'll have to wait and see how it goes. John and I have never been on the podium at Indy; maybe 2014 will be our year. Podium or no podium, one thing is for sure — we will get a nice steak at our favorite restaurant in Indy, the Capital Grille."