Doran Plans Double CTSCC Entry
LEBANON, Ohio — Doran Racing will field not one but two Nissan 370Z NISMO RCs in the 12-event IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge (CTSCC) in 2014, starting with the season opener Friday afternoon, Jan. 24 at Daytona Int’l Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla.
Both cars just returned to the team’s headquarters in Lebanon, Ohio after participating in the series’ official pre-season test Jan. 3-5 at Daytona. The Tower Events No. 41 piloted by Canadians David Empringham and John Farano posted the fifth-fastest time for the Grand Sport (GS) class during the test. The team’s No. 14 car driven by BJ Zacharias of Cincinnati, Ohio and Brad Jaeger of Charlottesville, Va. was 13th fastest out of 23 class entries after six practice sessions on the 3.56-mile road course, just 0.684 of a second off its team car.
Although the team is looking for two great finishes at Daytona, winning the CTSCC championship is it primary goal. Doran Racing has a rich history of winning championships and international races like the Rolex 24 that this race supports. It also has deep ties to Nissan Motorsports, dating back some 20 years. In addition, Zacharias drove the first Nissan 370Z in Grand-Am competition 11 years ago.
The addition of the Tower Events No. 41 for the 2014 season only adds to the team’s arsenal. It not only gives it an additional car in the race, but it doubles the data the team can gather during testing sessions, further accelerating chassis setup.
“The addition of the 41 car this year is a blessing for both Doran Racing and Nissan Motorsports, as it gives us another bullet in the chamber,” Zacharias said. “David Empringham brings so much to the table for the team with his experience, and working together for three days at Daytona was great. Both David and John Farano are great team players, and being able to try different things on chassis setup will really help with the finer details. It basically doubles your testing time.”
Empringham and Farano won the CTSCC championship in 2012 with another marque. Empringham also won title in 2005. He was part of the team that won the Rolex 24 overall in 2003, and he also has two Formula Atlantic and one Indy Lights titles. Farano, who like Empringham is from Toronto, finished second in the Ferrari Challenge series last year, winning that series’ race at Daytona. He and Empringham finished third in the CTSCC race at Daytona last year.
Doran Racing only ran in five CTSCC races last year, but Zacharias and Jaeger finished third in the event at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Sonoma, Calif. Last year they were in line for a top-five finish at Daytona until a gearbox issue thwarted their best efforts. Both have extensive experience as drivers of all sorts of race cars, and they have known each other for many years since both were raised in the Cincinnati area.
“Brad is a very intelligent driver and he’s easy on the equipment, which may be the two most important qualities the starting driver can have in endurance sports car racing,” Zacharias pointed out. “He brings a ton of experience with him from karting, open-wheel racing and even Daytona Prototypes, but his personality is really a huge key to the success we had last year in the 14 because he’s a total team player.”