SEBRING, FL March 15, 2008 – What a difference a year makes. Last year’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring was the inaugural run for Dyson Racing’s new LMP2 Porsche RS Spyders. This year’s version of the longest running sports car race in America saw the strongest Sebring showing by Dyson Racing in many years. The #16Thetford/Norcold entry of Chris Dyson and Guy Smith led the race four times. The team consistently executed the fastest pit stops, and were key players in some of the more storied fights of the race. All of this in the most demanding race of the year that had three cars finish on the lead lap after 1300 miles of the toughest competition.
The #20 car of Butch Leitzinger, Marino Franchitti, and Andy Lally led the race twice and finished second overall (and in class) and Dyson and Smith were right behind claiming third in class. Dyson and Smith were in the thick of the fight for the race victory despite loosing part of the rear diffuser when another P2 car hit them in the second hour of the race. “This is the Super Bowl of the American Le Mans Series, said team owner Rob Dyson. “We first came here twenty-one years ago and this result ranks right up there. It shows the progress the team has made with the car. It is a great beginning for the season and a notable inauguration for Marino Franchitti.”
“Guy and I pushed all day long, said Chris Dyson. “The team executed our stops perfectly, and we were able to stay right up at the front. The car was very inconsistent at times due to the rear floor breaking, but we just kept our heads down and did our very best. This is a great start for the championship and it reflects all the team’s hard work during the offseason.”
This is Leitzinger’s 17th Sebring 12 Hour. “It is fantastic – any time you can get on the podium at Sebring, it is like winning a race. This can be such a heartbreaking race. But the biggest thing is how much more understanding we now have of the car and we will be able to challenge at every race this year.”
“There were fourteen manufactures in today’s race,” observed Rob Dyson. “Today’s race showed how strong the series is and how competitive the year is going to be. In a sport where momentum is a parent of success, this is a comforting way to start a season.”
The ALMS stays in the Sunshine State for its next race on April 5th at St. Petersburg. The race will be carried live on ABC at 1:30 PM EDT.
|1.||7||P2||Dumas/Bernhard/Collard||Porsche RS Spyder|
|2.||20||P2||Franchitti/Leitzinger/Lally||1:02.084||Porsche RS Spyder|
|4.||16||P2||Dyson/Smith||1 lap||Porsche RS Spyder|
|5.||9||P2||Brabham/Sharp/Johansson||2 laps||Acura ARX|
|6.||2||P1||Luhr/Rockenfeller/Werner||18 laps||Audi R10|
|7.||27||P2||Leinhard/Theys/Lammers||18 laps||Porsche RS Spyder|