Promising Day at the Glen Ends in Disappointment for Nissan Motorsports-Doran Racing 370Z
Z sets fastest race lap, opens up 8.6 second lead on field before being taken out by backmarker
This video was shot at the Continental Tire 150 from Watkins Glen in the Hawk Performance Doran Racing Nissan 370Z driven by BJ Zacharias and Mike Skeen. It illustrates the dominance of the Nissan Motorsports Doran Racing 370Z at Watkins Glen. Mike Skeen opened up an 8.6-second lead when -- well, you can skip to 17:17 to see how the day ended.
WATKINS GLEN, New York - The Nissan Motorsports-Doran Racing 370Z was on its way to Nissan's first ever victory in the Grand-Am Continental Tire Challenge history when Mike Skeen set fastest race lap and drove to the front of the field, opening up a huge 8.5 second lead at one point. Then, like a flash, those chances were dashed by a much slower car.
BJ Zacharias qualified the car 3rd fastest out of 58, started the race, and stayed consistently in a top three pack that had separated from the field at the 3.4 mile Watkins Glen road course. One of the largest crowds in recent memory turned out for the Grand-Am race on a day with temperatures over 90 degrees F. The car was running strong when Zacharias pulled into the pits for a driver change a little before halfway, turning the car over to Pirelli World Challenge veteran Mike Skeen. But the car had a problem restarting, and Skeen came out back in 21st position.
Quickly, Skeen began moving up, and by lap 33 he powered into the lead. Within just three laps Skeen had opened up a huge lead of over 8.5 seconds, and the Nissan 370Z was dominant.
Then disaster struck. After making a quick fuel stop on lap 38, Skeen was accelerating out of the pits onto the track when a slower ST class BMW that had spun in turn six, abruptly pulled into his path, crashing him hard and out of the race. It was a huge disappointment for the Doran team and its two drivers. Skeen was checked out and released from the field medical center.
"We had a dominant race car and two winning drivers at Watkins Glen today. Kevin Doran, BJ and Mike worked so hard to get us a win, and though I'm disappointed in the way it turned out, I couldn't be prouder of the whole operation," said Ron Stukenberg, Senior Manager Nissan Motorsports. "You'll see good things from this team soon, but it's a shame that the tremendous effort they put together here didn't bring a win home today."
The Next race for the Doran Racing 370Z is July 27 at Indianapolis, and the team will be challenged to get the car back in racing condition after the crash. You can see the Watkins Glen Continental Challenge race on July 14 at 1:00 p.m. eastern/noon central on SPEED.
For more information and the latest news about Grand Am Racing and the Continental Challenge, follow the series online at http://www.grand-am.com.
Nissan Performance on Facebook: www.facebook.com/nissanperformance
Media contact: Steve Yaeger, Nissan Motorsports, 615-427-9172
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Nissan Article: http://nissannews.com/en-US/nissan/usa/releases/promising-day-at-the-glen-ends-in-disappointment-for-nissan-motorsports-doran-racing-370z