Lakeville, CT July 23, 2010 – As usual at Lime Rock, the rain came earlier than expected. It started in the morning and rained throughout practice and qualifying for the American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix. Running Dunlop rain tires for the first time this season, Guy Smith qualified the #16 Castrol Dyson Racing Mazda third on the grid, setting his fastest time on the session’s last lap, one of only three cars to post a time under a minute on the wet 1.5-mile track.
“I enjoy driving in the rain,” Smith said. “This is the first time we have run in the wet with the Dunlop tires and they performed brilliantly. Chris Dyson and I improved the car for qualifying but we still had some balance issues that could have been improved on. That being said, I am happy with the staring position. It gives us a good place to start and to have a good race tomorrow on the team’s home track.”
Dyson Racing won LMP2 here last year, giving Mazda its first prototype win of 2009. The team has a rich history at the historical Berkshire track that has seen nearly every driver of note compete at. One of the best was James Weaver who drove for Rob Dyson twenty years and is visiting this weekend. “Lime Rock follows the natural contours of the land as all the great circuits do: Watkins Glen, Brands Hatch, Nurburgring, Mosport, and Spa. It is a natural circuit,” noted Weaver. “The track is surprisingly fast. It is almost like being on an oval where momentum is everything. It is a track where you need a car you can steer on the throttle, so when you first snap the throttle shut, it should push the front in and kick the back out, and than when you open the throttle, it should go to very slight understeer and than neutral and than oversteer so there is a natural movement in the car. If you can get the car to follow your foot, you will be quick at Lime Rock.”
Smith and his wife Alicia spent the first part of the week in New York City. “We had a great time. Alicia is pregnant with our third child and we wanted to be able to spend some quality time and take advantage of one of the last opportunities for my wife to fly. She loves coming to New York and we always enjoy northeast Connecticut and being guests of the Dysons for the race. There are no better hosts.”
|2.||6||P||Pickett/Graf||58.746||Porsche RS Spyder|
|4.||8||P||Drayson/Cocker||1:00.092||Lola B09 60|
|5.||37||P||Field/Field||1:02.922||Lola B06 10|
|8.||45||GT||Bergmeister/Long||1:03.904||Porsche 911 RSR|