DORAN RACING EXPANDS ITS ASSUAULT ON THE 2008 ROLEX SERIES WITH A 2-CAR TEAM BEGINNING AT THIS WEEKEND’S MEXICO CITY 250
This weekend’s Mexico City 250 marks the beginning of Doran Racing’s expansion to a 2-car assault on the remainder of the 2008 Rolex Series season. Joining the team’s #77 Kodak Ford Doran/Dallara driven by Memo Gidley and Brad Jaeger will be the #47 BSi/CDOC/Anasten Plus Ford Dallara of Burt Frisselle and Gabriele Gardel.
Both teams have the advantage of a driver who has raced previously – and done well – on the highly-technical 2.5-mile, 14-turn Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez road circuit. Gidley co-drove to victory at the event in 2005, and Burt Frisselle scored a top-10 finish in 2006.
“It’s a really interesting and challenging track that is quite modern with lots of runoff areas, good curbing, a really long and technically challenging series of esses and the ‘parabolica’ banked turn,” says Gidley. “I won this race in 2005, which gives us the added advantage of knowing what we need to do to make the car fast there. Doran Racing and I are both hungry to win and now that we have some experience with the new car, I think Mexico City would be a great place to start.”
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.
Gidley’s co-driver in the #77 Kodak Ford Doran/Dallara is Brad Jaeger, a native of Cincinnati, Ohio and recent graduate of Vanderbilt University where he was a member of their Formula SAE team. His racing resume includes karting, Sports 2000, Skip Barber, F2000, Star Mazda and the Indy Pro Series. He co-drove his first prototype race for the Doran team in the 2007 season finale at Miller Motorsport Park.
“I’m excited to be racing at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez this weekend because I always enjoy the challenge of learning a new track,” says Jaeger. “I downloaded a video game of the track which seems quite detailed and should help me get up to speed in the limited amount of practice time available. We had a really fast car in the last race at Miami and with the team running two cars this weekend, it doubles the amount of setup date we generate and increases the competitiveness of both cars.”
Burt Frisselle, co-driver of the #47 #47 BSI/CDOC/Anasten Plus Ford Dallara has been racing Daytona Prototypes in the Rolex Series since 2004, including a podium finish in his first-ever start in the series. He has scored top-10 and top-5 finishes in each of his four seasons of Rolex competition, including a 5th in his first run in the Rolex 24, in 2007.
“I’ve run the Mexico City race three times so far, and finished 10th in 2006 and that will be a help to us in getting up to speed as quickly as possible,” says Frisselle, a 26 year-old native of Los Angeles who now makes his home in Aspen, Colorado. “It’s been a long month for the Doran Racing team getting our car ready for Mexico City and it’s a real testimonial to the quality of the organization that they were able to get so much done in such a short time. We’ll be running the car for the firs time when we get there, so Thursday is pretty much just going to be taken up with familiarizing ourselves with the car, but we’re hoping for a solid result from the weekend.”
Frisselle’s co-driver in Mexico City and throughout the 2008 season will be Gabriele Gardel, an Italian racer who began his career in open-wheel, including F3 and F3000, but switched to sports cars in 2004 and was the 2005 FIA GT Champion and 2006 LeMans Series GT1 Champion. He made his Rolex Sports Car Series debut in the 2008 Rolex 24 At Daytona co-driving the #77 Doran Racing entry with Gidley and Jaeger.
“I have not raced at Mexico City before but I am excited about competing there because it has a long history that includes Formula One,” says the Gardel. “I am preparing as much as possible without actually driving on the tracks by watching in-car videos that I found on YouTube and driving many laps on my Playstation. We know we have a lot of work ahead of us, but I am looking forward to working with Burt and Kevin and getting the most out of this package. Burt knows all the tracks and that will be a big help for me -- it’s always good to have a fast teammate.”
The two cars the Doran Racing team will field in Mexico City 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.
On-track action for the Mexico City 250, Round Two of the 2008 Rolex Sports Car Series Presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 begins with several practice sessions on Thursday, April 17. The unique Rolex Series qualifying session – expanded from its usual 15-minutes to 20-minutes for Mexico City - takes place from 11:40 am to 12 noon on Friday, April 18, with the 250 mile/1900-laps/2 ¾-hour race scheduled to take the green flag at 3:15 pm, Saturday, April 19. TV coverage on SPEED begins at 4:00 pm EDT.
The next race on the schedule, the Bosch Engineering 250 at Virginia International Raceway, takes place just one week later, on April 27.