MONTEREY, CA May 22, 2010 – At the pole press conference yesterday, Guy Smith said his wish was for a boring race for the first five and a half hours of the six hour American Le Mans Series endurance race here at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. It did not work out that way. Smith set the fastest race lap and the ARCO Castrol Mazda Lola Coupe featured in some of the most exciting laps of the contest, finishing third in LMP.
Chris Dyson started the car and settled into a comfortable top-three pace, handing the car over to Andy Meyrick an hour into the race. Meyrick maintained that competitive pace, matching the leader’s lap times and led laps 97-113. A stop to replace a damaged nose at the three-hour mark put the car down a lap. Dyson took over the Dunlop-shod entry a half-hour later while in second place and moved the car forward so the team could take advantage of a full-course caution pit stop to get the car back on the lead lap four and a half hours into the race.
Smith got in the car on that stop and chased down Marino Franchitti in the Highcroft entry. He attacked the eighteen-second gap and passed Franchitti under braking going into turn one on lap183. He pitted seventeen laps latter, giving the lead back to the Highcroft car. Smith launched his second pursuit, but was not able to finish its second act when the car stopped on course twenty-five minutes from the end with mechanical problems.
“The more competitive your race weekend, the more you feel for the crew as they start to pack up before race end. We won the pole yesterday, set fastest lap today and chased down and passed last year’s champion car. We had the measure of the field today and it is tough not to come away with a win here. But we have to look on the bright side. We took away third place points with the ARCO car this weekend and we continued our strong showing in the championship,” commented Chris Dyson.
The American Le Mans Series championship resumes at Miller Motorsports Park, just outside of Salt Lake City UT, on July 11. The two-hour, 45-minute race is set for 2:05 p.m. MT on Sunday, July 11 with SPEED broadcasting live race coverage at 4 p.m. ET.
|1.||1||P||Brabham/Pagenaud/Franchitti||0||HPD ARX 01|
|2.||6||P||Gidley/Graf/Maassen||7 laps||Porsche RS Spyder|
|3.||55||PC||Tucker/Bouchut/Wilkins||8 laps||Oreca FLM09|
|4.||36||PC||Sutherland/Weickardt/Marcelli||8 laps||Oreca FLM09|
|5.||45||GT||Barameister/Lona||10 laps||Porsche 911|
|6.||90||GT||Mueller/Hand||10 laps||BMW M3|
|7.||4||GT||Beretta/Gavin||10 laps||Corvette ZR1|
|8.||62||GT||Melo/Bruni||12 laps||Ferrari 430|
|9.||01||GT||Sharp/van Overbeek||12 laps||Ferrari 430|
|15.||16||P||Dyson/Smith/Meyrick||17 laps||Mazda MZR-R|