SEBRING, Florida – March 14, 2014 ? Doran Racing’s Brad Jaeger grabbed the ninth starting position for tomorrow’s IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge (CTSC) race at Sebring International Raceway during qualifications at the 3.74-mile road course Thursday in the #14 Nissan 370Z NISMO.
Jaeger, of Charlottesville, Va., was only 0.067 of a second out of fourth spot in the qualifying session. Trying to conserve tires on the abrasive concrete track was a critical part of team strategy, because CTSC rules mandate that cars must start the race on the same tires with which they qualified. Jaeger ran a 2:16.683 for an average speed of 98.505 miles per hour on his third and final qualifying lap.
“It went pretty well,” Jaeger said. “Another 0.07 of a second would have moved us from ninth to fourth, so it?s a shame we couldn?t get that last little bit. Tomorrow?s race is going to be all about tire management, and I think we might have an edge with the Nissan 370Z that has typically been easier on tires than some of our competition. We hope to be able to pass some cars when their tires (grip) fall off at the end.?
Jaeger and Cincinnati?s BJ Zacharias will split driving duties in the Doran Z for Friday?s CTSC race.
Tim Bell Racing also chose to make their qualifying session short and conserve tires. Team owner Tim Bell put the #28 370Z NISMO 13th on the 66-car grid for the race with a 2:17.17 lap. The Charlotte, NC-based team was satisfied with the spot, feeling similarly confident in their car?s tire wear advantage over the many larger, V8 powered entries in the field at Sebring. Bell will share the car with Dane Cameron in Friday?s race.
Doran’s other Nissan 370Z NISMO, the Tower Events #41, will start 19th in the 61-car race, as Toronto?s John Farano posted a 2:19.923 (96.224 mph). That lap came on his fourth of six trips around the historic track during the qualifying session. The time was well of the car?s best lap Wednesday of 2:18.027. Fellow Canadian David Empringham co-drives the Tower Events 370Z.
Friday’s two-and-a-half-hour race begins at 1:00 p.m. Eastern/noon Central. Live timing and scoring and a video feed will be available on imsa.com.
The race will be broadcast on a tape-delayed basis on Fox Sports 1 at 1:00 p.m. ET time on March 19, and rebroadcast at 7:30 p.m. ET March 23 on Fox Sports 2.