DETROIT, MI, August 31, 2007 – Dyson Racing equaled its best on-track qualifying effort of the season with Guy Smith qualifying the #20 Thetford/Norcold car fourth for Saturday’s Detroit Sports Car Challenge. The #20 car was quickest for the majority of qualifying and was second and fourth quickest in the two preceding practice sessions. In one of the more competitive qualifying sessions of the American Le Mans season, Andy Wallace qualified the #16 Porsche RS Spyder ninth. Three quarters of a second covered the top five starters and the top ALMS qualifier was only .444 slower than the fastest Indy Racing League time of the day.
“It was an exciting qualifying and it is nice to be starting up front,” commented Smith. “The main thing is that we are back to where we think we should be and the car is good for the race. I think we actually have a better race car than the Penskes. Chris (Dyson) and I are looking forward to tomorrow – these street courses always make for thrilling racing.”
Andy Wallace’s qualifying was almost two seconds faster than the times he and Butch Leitzinger turned in the morning practice sessions. “The main thing with leaning a new track is finding where the grippy bits are,” observed Wallace. “On a track like this, there are a lot of concrete strips and camber changes so the obvious line through the corner is not always the right line and you have to find that.” Teammate Butch Leitzinger noted that “the course is very good with a nice mixture of corners. It is still very green without much rubber on it so I expect the fastest lap in the race will be quicker than qualifying.”
Belle Isle hosted CART races from 1992 – 2001. This weekend is a double header with the ALMS and the IRL. “Roger (Penske) has done a first rate job in putting this event together,” Chris Dyson said. “It is a faster street track than it looks. We have taken some lessons we learned from Houston and Lime Rock and put them into a good package here. With only one day of running on a new track, the team has given us very good cars.”
|1.||6||P2||Maassen/Briscoe||1:13.357||Porsche RS Spyder|
|2.||7||P2||Dumas/Bernhard||1:13.603||Porsche RS Spyder|
|4.||20||P2||Dyson/Smith||1:13.983||Porsche RS Spyder|
|9.||16||P2||Wallace/Leitzinger||1:15.639||Porsche RS Spyder|