POUGHKEEPSIE, NY June 15, 2009 — In racing, there is no substitute for time in the car. Race conditions provide the best learning platform for future success. The three Dyson Racing drivers who ran the 77th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans came away richer for the experience.
Chris Dyson in the #25 RML AD Group LMP2 Mazda Lola Coupe finished sixth in class. Mechanical issues side-lined the car a couple hours from the end while running a class fourth. The car ran third or fourth in class the majority of its race. “We were all a bit disappointed that we did not make the full race distance,” Dyson said. “My co-drivers Mike Newton and Tommy Erdos did a great job, and we were in touch with the leaders the entire race. The RML team executed extremely well and the car was quite good. It is unfortunate that we did not end up with the podium finish we believed we earned, but at the end of the day I view it as a positive experience for us and the Mazda program. This is the same car that we race in the states and what we learned at Le Mans will serve us well for the rest of the season.”
The #87 GT2 Aston Martin of Marino Franchitti, Paul Drayson and Jonny Cocker finished eleventh in class in the twice around the clock classic. “The event has just been fantastic with Drayson Racing. The car and the team were so well prepared for it,” Franchitti said afterwards. “Everything was smooth running. We had a couple issues in the race but we got through them with the least amount off-track time. There wasn’t a mark on the car. Obviously, at the end, there is disappointment because we were so close to the finish. It was just a real pleasure and honor to share with Paul and Jonny and everybody. I just wish we would have gotten to the end and gotten the finish that everyone deserves.”
Guy Smith, along with co-drivers Olivier Pla and Miguel Amaral, drove their #40 Quifel ASM Ginetta-Zytek 09S sportscar to twelfth in the LMP2 class. A little more than three hours into the race, the car went off at Arnage and the resulting damage could not be repaired. Smith noted afterwards that “some braking issues had started during the warm-up. Miquel (Amaral) took over for me, but he went off the track. He got going again, only to immediately lock up under braking and hit the barriers. He managed to get the car back to the pits, but the damage was too extensive to repair.” Smith finished fourth in LMP2 last year and was second overall in 2004 and won the race in 2003.
The next round of the ALMS is the Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, CT. The race is scheduled for 2:05 p.m. EDT on Saturday, July 18. Chris Dyson and Guy Smith are currently second in the LMP2 driver standings with Marino Franchitti and Butch Leitzinger three points behind in third.