LEBANON, Ohio – July 8, 2014 – Similar to B.J. Zacharias’s spirited charge from fifth to second place in the last 15 minutes of the most recent IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race at Watkins Glen, N.Y. just 10 days ago, the Doran Racing crew has been working hard to prepare its two Nissans for the next race, which will be held this Saturday at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario.
The Lebanon, Ohio-based team not only had its regular prep work to do on the #14 but it also had to get a new chassis ready for action after the #41 Tower Events Nissan 370Z was badly damaged in a crash at the start of the race at Watkins Glen. The car can be repaired, but it will take longer than the time the team had between races.
Although the accident was very disappointing, the team members had a great deal to cheer about two hours and 30 minutes later when its #14 Nissan NISMO 370Z RC finished just one-tenth of a second behind the winner. They hope the momentum that Zacharias and his co-driver, Brad Jaeger, enjoy with the podium finish at the Glen will carry over to the #41 this weekend too, especially since both of its drivers, John Farano and David Empringham, are from Toronto and this weekend’s race is at their home track. Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, formerly called Mosport International Raceway, is about 45 minutes from Toronto. The CTSCC race, part of the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix presented by Hawk Performance, is the series’ only event outside of the United States this season.
It’s been a busy last few weeks for everyone on the team, but especially for Empringham.
“It’s a really big week for me, as I got married to Tracy Mallory last Sunday, July 6,” Empringham said. “Tracy and both my kids, Matthew and Elise, will be at Saturday’s race, so it sure would be great timing for a win!”
Empringham has an advantage over many drivers entered in the race because he’s actually raced — and even won — on the 2.459-mile, 10-turn road course in the past.
“Gunnar Jeannette and I won the Conti race at Mosport in 2005,” he recalled.
Quite a few other drivers in the series, like Jaeger, are making their first visit to the track this week. The first practice session is slated for Thursday afternoon, the same day that Jaeger celebrates his 29th birthday.
“The Doran Racing crew, B.J. and I are all really energized coming away with our second-place finish at Watkins Glen,” said Jaeger, of Charlottesville, Va. “Even though this will be my first time at Mosport I’m really looking forward to it. I’m fortunate that there is a promoter’s test day, which will give me a little extra time to learn the track. From talking to a few of the other drivers, I’m hoping that the track is really going to fit well with our Nissan 370Z, but with this being the first time the series has raced there in many years, we’ll just have to wait and see how everything unfolds.”
“It’s been quite some time since I have been to Mosport; the last time I raced there was with RSR in the Mini Cooper I think,” said Zacharias, who is based in Cincinnati.
“It’s a very fun and challenging course. It’s almost an extreme version of Mid-Ohio. It’s a fun track but it’s narrow, so getting around the ST cars will be half the battle in the race, for sure,” he said.
“The #14 car has built up a little momentum and we are looking to continue that trend,” Zacharias added. “We need to continue this push and finish with some more serious podiums, and after the way this team battled at Watkins Glen, a win isn’t that far off. Brad hasn’t been there, but we have a test day to help sort things out.
“Unfortunately the #41 car had some bad luck at Watkins Glen and the guys in the shop have been burning the midnight oil to get our third chassis ready. If there is a way, these guys will get it done. I’m confident in them and their abilities,” Zacharias continued.
“I know Dave and John are anxious to battle on their home turf. I think the 41 is going to be really tough for the competition at Mosport. Hopefully there are two podium spots reserved for us!”
After the first practice session at 1:40 p.m. on Thursday, the second practice session will be held at 8 a.m. Friday. Qualifying for the Grand Sport class is at 3:10 p.m. Friday. Saturday’s 150-minute race is scheduled to get the green flag at 1:15 p.m., with coverage on imsa.com.
The race is scheduled to be broadcast on a tape-delayed basis on Fox Sport 1 at 10 a.m. on Sunday, July 20. All times are Eastern.
For more information on Doran Racing, see DoranRacing.com and the team’s Facebook page.