DETROIT, MI August 30, 2008 – The second annual American Le Mans Series Detroit Sports Car Challenge was an entertaining race with engaging stand-alone chapters. Adding to the fan’s enjoyment was the run of the #16 Porsche RS Spyder of Chris Dyson and Guy Smith. They qualified third yesterday, but elected to change tires after this morning’s warm-up, which meant they started the race from the rear of the grid. Smith started the car and was twentieth after two laps, tenth after fourteen and fifth on lap twenty-eight. The 16 car finished sixth in the LMP2 class, followed by the sister car of Marino Franchitti and Butch Leitzinger in eighth, maintaining the team’s third place in the ALMS team championship.
Franchitti started the #20 car eighth in class and stayed in the leading group for the first hour and a half before pitting on lap fifty-seven and handing the car over to Leitzinger. A stop-and-go penalty for a loose wheel nut in the pit lane during the stop dropped the car a position and an unscheduled pit stop under green on lap seventy-one to replace a deflating right rear tire kept them from moving up the order. Leitzinger maintained a competitive pace but was not able to repeat his second in class finish from last year.
One of the more noteworthy chapters unfolded the last half hour of the race as Dyson held off spirited assaults and drove the last half of his stint mirroring the hard fought battle at the front head of the field. “We did very well here last year and started this weekend where we left off with a very solid qualifying effort,” said Dyson. “Both our cars kept good respective pace, but we didn’t have enough raw speed today. During the stints, we found the track had changed dramatically since Saturday. This balance shift was more than we had anticipated, and it kept us from contending, ultimately.”
The American Le Mans Series goes from the largest island park in America to its headline ten-hour Petit Le Mans race at Road Atlanta on October 4. The penultimate round of the series produced the second closest finish of last year’s season with less than a second separating first and second after 1000 miles of racing.
|3.||66||P2||de Ferran/Pagenaud||28.836||Acura ARX|
|4.||7||P2||Dumas/Bernhard||59.266||Porsche RS Spyder|
|5.||6||P2||Briscoe/Long||59.792||Porsche RS Spyder|
|6.||16||P2||Smith/Dyson||1 lap||Porsche RS Spyder|
|7.||8||P2||Devlin/Bonilla||1 lap||Lola B07 Mazda|
|8.||20||P2||Franchitti/Leitzinger||2 laps||Porsche RS Spyder|
|9.||4||GT2||Baretta/Gavin||4 laps||Corvette C6|
|10.||3||GT2||OConnell/Magnussen||6 laps||Corvette C6|