SEBRING, Florida – March 19, 2015 – The Doran Racing Nissan 370Zs will start in the fourth and sixth positions in Friday afternoon’s Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race at Sebring International Raceway.
Brad Jaeger of Charlottesville, Va., qualified fourth in the Lebanon, Ohio-based team’s #14 with a time of 2:17.029 for the 3.74-mile, 17-turn road course during a 15-minute qualifying session Thursday afternoon. That was only 0.487 of a second off third place and 1.183 off the pole. His fastest lap came on lap four of six laps he turned during the session in the red-and-white Nissan he shares with co-driver B.J. Zacharias of Cincinnati.
Rookie Nick McMillan of Salem, Ore., qualified sixth in the team’s #41 that he shares with fellow Nissan GT Academy champion Bryan Heitkotter of Fresno, Calif. McMillan, who has never raced at Sebring before and is competing in only his second race on American soil, turned a 2:17.289 on his fourth of five laps in the qualifying session. He was only 1.443 seconds off the pole, and just 0.045 of a second behind the Porsche that qualified fifth.
McMillen and Heitkotter finished sixth in the season opener at Daytona in January, and Jaeger and Zacharias finished third at Sebring last year.
Friday’s 2.5-hour race, called the Microsoft Visual Studio 150, supports Saturday’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida.
Friday’s race will be streamed live on IMSA.com beginning at 1:05 p.m. It will also be televised on Fox Sports 1 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Sunday, April 5. All times are Eastern.
Driver quotes follow:
Brad Jaeger: “It was a good qualifying session. At the beginning it was interesting. My tires weren’t up to temperature and the car push wide of turn one, so I backed off and let everyone by and make sure I had enough room for the next lap. I got two clean laps after that, and we were able to secure fourth spot.
“So far things have been going well. The Camaros have so much torque that on a one-lap run they’re very quick. But we’re quick too, and we hope to show what we can do in the long runs tomorrow. We’ve had a great car all weekend. Doran Racing has been great in developing the car and the Nissan 370Z is very good here; we’ve been fast from the moment we unloaded.
“I have a good feeling for tomorrow. It is in the mid-to-upper 80s this afternoon and it should be the same tomorrow. We’ll tweak the car a little and hope for a lot of green-flag laps in tomorrow’s race.”
Nick McMillen: “It was good; we figured out the balance pretty well yesterday, and then Bryan, Brad, B.J. and I went over the data and found a couple spots where we could improve.
“On my first lap my tires weren’t up to temperature. I caught an Aston Martin pretty early but I got by him. The first lap after I got by him was pretty good, and then on my second flyer I kept pushing but there was a Porsche in front of me that was catching a Mustang, and I ended up catching up with both of them. I think that lap would have been even better than the other flyer without that traffic, but I’m still pretty happy. We’re definitely in a good position for the race tomorrow.
“I like Sebring. I think it fits me as a driver; I like to be busy. It’s fun and I think it tests any driver’s ability to the max. I can’t imagine what it would be like to go over the bumps in a Prototype. It’s one of the hardest tracks I’ve ever driven at, but I like it!”