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#NHMSGRC Pre-Race Interview: Liam Doran

Photo credit: Matthew Kalish

Liam Doran will make his third start of the Global Rallycross Championship season in tonight’s event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Driving the Liam Doran Motorsport-prepared #33 Monster Energy Citroen C4, he will come off the grid third in his heat, facing Travis Pastrana, Samuel Hubinette, Richard Burton, and Bucky Lasek. Before tonight’s event, Doran answered a few questions as he attempts to make his second main event in a row:

On qualifying and transferring out of the heat race: “Firstly, I shouldn’t really be in that position, because yesterday I got put in a bad situation in seeding and only got one timed lap (due to Ken Block’s accident). So where everyone else got four timed laps to get a fast lap and I only got one, I felt that it was a really bad lap. So I shouldn’t be down anyway, but it is what it is, and I’m going to do what I have to do to get back up to the front. In the heat, yeah I’m in the middle, and next to two guys who are both fast at the start. So all it’s going to come down to is who’s the lucky guy at the start. All the cars are set up to go fast at the start line—mine can do it, I know I can do it, it’s just going to be luck of the draw when the lights go green. I think here I’ve definitely got the speed, if I can get the lead into the first corner I’ll definitely be alright. The track’s quite technical and tough, and it’s difficult to keep the car in one piece because it’s quite an aggressive track on the car, so we’ll see how it goes. I only need to be in the top two to go over to the main, so I think I’ll try to do what I have to do.”

On the longcut as a challenge: “No, it’s not a new challenge for me at all, because I come from European rallycross, where this sport comes from. And in European rallycross, it’s always the long way around, it’s never a shortcut. So the shortcut was actually strange for me when we first did it. So this is kind of back to where I’m more comfortable, what I’m used to, so for me it’s a good thing.”

Photo credit: Matthew Kalish

Comparing the Citroen C4 to his DS3 in Europe: “No, technically they’re identically the same. Even though the chassis are different, the only difference is the length, everything else is exactly the same. In fact, the ratio of length to width is the same, so even though it looks like a bigger car, it’s longer and wider, the DS3 is shorter and thinner, the actual race shell is exactly the same. Apart from that, everything else is identical. The engine, transmission, brakes, suspension, it’s all 2012 spec. So (the DS3 is) a newer shape, it’s better for marketing for Citroen, but as far as it goes I actually think this car is faster. So I’m definitely not at a disadvantage by not having a brand new car here.”

On the technical aspects of the track: “The way they’ve laid out the tabletop is quite difficult, because the cars are too fast to be able to go flat out up the jump. We’re staying flat out up to the jump and we’re clearing it by 10, 20 feet, which is really bad for the car because you’re going four, five feet in the air and completely landing flat. They’re not designed to jump that hard. Apart from that, everything else is reasonably down to the driver, it’s just that if you make a mistake a lot can go wrong with the gap jump obviously. If you overshoot it or fall short a lot can go wrong. Apart from that, I think it’s just trying to equal out how fast you can go to how much you want to finish the race. You can go full throttle and as hard as you want, but you’re not going to finish the race if you do that. So it’s going to be a balance in that four laps in the heat and six in the main, to keep it in one piece, and obviously the winner’s going to be the one who reaches the finish line, so that’s what’s important.”

– Chris Leone

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