DETROIT, MI August 29, 2008 – Dyson Racing posted the fastest Porsche LMP2 qualifying time this afternoon for the American Le Mans Detroit Sports Car Challenge. Guy Smith qualified the #16 Porsche RS Spyder seven tenths of a second off the pole in the first session of the day run in the dry.
Like clockwork, both times the ALMS cars went on track today, it started raining, never giving the team a chance to evaluate a dry set-up. “This is where this team excels,” stated Smith. “When things are stacked against us, we come out fighting. Stefan Dwornik and Peter Weston came up with a great set-up for qualifying and the car was very good with great balance. My best time was on lap six and I thought ‘there is definitely more time in the car.’ I came in and adjusted the tire pressures, but hit traffic at the end of the run.”
The day’s drama ran the gamut for Dyson Racing. Butch Leitzinger was driving the #20 Thetford/Norcold in the last session before qualifying when a deluge hit the back straight. Leitzinger slowed down, but lost the front end and nosed into the wall. In an hour, the Dyson crew replaced the front nose and crash box, put in a new floor, replaced the left up-right and suspension arms and repaired the suspension pick-up points. Leitzinger helped with the deadline repairs. “Normally I do not let people know that I know how to operate a wrench, but when I mess up, I pretty much have no choice!” he said later. The Dyson crew wheeled the car onto the pit lane just as the qualifying session went green. With a best guess at the optimum set-up, Marino Franchitti qualified the car eighth in class, the team’s effort paying off.
“The team did a great job getting the car ready in time for qualifying, and Guy cranked out a strong lap in the 16 car,” said Chris Dyson. “It was satisfying seeing Marino fastest in the morning session. That is one of the differences between this year and last: we now roll off the truck with a car in a good window, and that is a great way to start a weekend.” The Detroit Sports Car Challenge is scheduled for 2:35 p.m. ET tomorrow. SPEED will broadcast the race live, and XM will air it from 5 to 8 p.m. ET on Sunday, August 31. ALMS Radio will have live coverage of all on-track sessions at americanlemans.com, which also will feature IMSAs live timing and scoring.
|2.||66||P2||de Ferran/Pagenaud||1:13.660||Acura ARX|
|3.||16||P2||Dyson/Smith||1:14.209||Porsche RS Spyder|
|6.||7||P2||Dumas/Bernhard||1:14.598||Porsche RS Spyder|
|7.||6||P2||Briscoe/Long||1:15.476||Porsche RS Spyder|
|10.||20||P2||Franchitti/Leitzinger||1:16.554||Porsche RS Spyder|