INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana – July 24, 2014 – The Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s brand-new scoring pylon saw its first day of official duty on Thursday, and at the end of the Grand Sport qualifying session for the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Series that afternoon its LED lights showed the Doran Racing #14 Nissan NISMO 370Z RC solidly in sixth place, just 0.292 of a second off the pole.
Brad Jaeger of Charlottesville, Va., was at the wheel of the car and he duplicated his best qualifying result so far this year when he posted a lap in 1:35.113 on lap four of the seven laps he made of the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course during the qualifying session. That translates to an average speed of 92.315 miles per hour.
Jaeger will start the 2.5-hour race at 2:30 p.m. tomorrow, and then be relieved by his co-driver, B.J. Zacharias of Cincinnati.
John Farano of Toronto qualified 17th in the team’s sister car, the #41 Tower Events Nissan 370Z. His best lap was a 1:36.334 (91.145 mph), which came on the second of seven laps he turned in the session. He shares that beautiful blue-and-white car with another Toronto-based driver, David Empringham. The pair was champions of this series just two years ago.
Earlier Thursday the #14 was ninth in the first practice session with a 1:35.514 and fifth in the second practice session with a 1:35.230. The #41 was tenth in the first practice session with a 1:35.558 and ninth in the second practice session with a 1:35.397.
Friday’s 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.
Post-qualifying quotes follow:
Brad Jaeger: “I think we’re looking wonderful for the race tomorrow. We might have missed the set-up a tiny bit for our best all-out speed, but we have a great car for the race. I think we have a set-up that is going to be easy on the tires, and that’s going to be very important tomorrow. A good finish is definitely do-able.
“In some regards the track changes hurt us a little, because the high-speed Turn 1 isn’t being used, but with the way the track was altered there are a lot of corners where handling is very important, and the Nissan 370Z is a great-handling car. This course does not favor just a torque package, which is what I was afraid of. Instead it requires a good-handling car with good power, and the Nissan has both of those attributes.
“We qualified equal to our best result so far this year, and only 0.292 separates sixth from first. That just shows that we have a lot of talented drivers and great teams that can get the job done running this series. It’s very competitive, but I’m really optimistic about our chances tomorrow.”
David Empringham: “In practice we had a suspension issue, but the team worked hard and had it fixed for the qualifying session. The Nissans should be fairly strong for the long run; time will tell.
“We used to run Turn 1 of the oval backwards, but now there are two or three slow corners of the road course instead. I was worried that our gearing might be off for those changes, but actually our gearing is quite good.
“John and I hope to have better luck than we have had so far this year, and to be there at the end tomorrow.”