HOUSTON, TX April 20, 2007 – Speed records are made to be broken, especially in Houston, a city that prides itself on being the home of the Johnson Space Center. The first ten cars in today’s ALMS Grand Prix of Houston qualifying beat last year’s LMP1 pole time set by Dyson Racing’s James Weaver. The #20 car of Chris Dyson and Guy Smith will start sixth in LMP2 followed by Butch Leitzinger and Andy Wallace in seventh, reversing last weekend’s Long Beach order.
“The car has good maneuverability and we have improved it over the bumps, but ultimate qualifying grip was not quite there,” said Guy Smith. “But at every race this year, we have had the race pace and tomorrow should be no exception.”
Butch Leitzinger’s qualifying session in the #16 Thetford/Norcold entry was cut short with a right rear puncture. You cannot change tires during qualifying, so he lost the opportunity to improve on his time. “We made a change before qualifying and went a step too far, giving the car too much snap oversteer,” remarked Leitzinger. “We came in to correct that when they discovered the rear tire, so we ended up leaving some time on the track. We have had more time this weekend than last to find speed. They have ground down the worse bumps from last year. It is still very bumpy, but it is in a range where the crew and engineers can deal with it. It has gone from being a motocross track to just a normally bumpy street course.”
“They have improved the track,” observed Chris Dyson. “The turn one chicane is earlier in the straight than last year and they have squared off the last corner. I have always liked the layout of this track. There are a lot of areas where with mixed classes you can get by a slower car. The fact that we ran last year without any yellows for contact is a testimony to the job they have done here.”
The Lone Star Grand Prix is set for 5:30 p.m. CDT tomorrow. The race will be broadcast on CBS Sports at 1 p.m. EDT on Sunday, April 29. ALMS Radio and IMSA’s Live Timing and Scoring will be available at americanlemans.com.
|3.||7||P2||Dumas/Bernhard||1:01.876||Porsche RS Spyder|
|4.||6||P2||Maassen/Briscoe||1:01.987||Porsche RS Spyder|
|8.||20||P2||Dyson/Smith||1:03.102||Porsche RS Spyder|
|9.||16||P2||Leitzinger/Wallace||1:03.566||Porsche RS Spyder|