HOUSTON TX, May 12, 2006 – Dyson Racing’s record of twelve straight LMP1 podium finishes remained intact at tonight’s Lone Star Grand Prix in Houston Texas. On a track that drivers termed bumpier than Sebring, the number 16 car of James Weaver and Butch Leitzinger finished second in class and sixth overall. Chris Dyson and Guy Smith brought the sister 20 car home third in class on this inaugural 1.7 mile street course run under the lights around Reliant Stadium.
James started from the pole but a series of what Guy Smith would call “higgly piggly” problems, kept both Thetford/Norcold entries from being stronger contenders. James Weaver led the first twelve laps. Handling problems dropped him to third where he stayed until a fuel, tire and driver change stop 42 laps latter. The car came out fourth after a longer stop than normal to remove rubber from the brake and radiator ducts. Butch Leitzinger lost fifth and sixth gears thirty-five laps from the end, but hung in there to finish sixth. “James showed the pace of the car in qualifying yesterday but mechanical issues held us back today,” Leitzinger said afterwards. “But the fans saw the potential of the car.”
Chris Dyson started the #20 car from the rear of the field after a mechanical problem prevented him from posting a qualifying time yesterday. Despite having had very few laps in fraught sessions prior to the race, Dyson picked off fifteen cars in fifteen laps and was up to fifth place. But on lap 16, he spun in the oil dropped by a retiring car in front of him and dropped to the back again. Dyson started the process all over again and set a series of quick laps before handing the car over to Guy Smith in tenth place. The Yorkshireman was on the pace instantly and continued the 20 car’s march forward. “Once there was some rubber laid down, I was able to hustle the car around, said Smith. “In practice, I felt that I was basically a passenger but in the race I was able drive the car and actually have some fun.” But the fun factor ended when a rear push rod failed and the long stop to replace it put them insurmountably down the field again. Noted Smith, “without those problems, we would have had much stronger finish. But it is encouraging: the car was fast and the engine went well with no problems. I started to enjoy the track after awhile and am looking forward to Mid Ohio next weekend.”
Dyson Racing did well at Mid-Ohio last year, finishing one, two. Here’s to happy returns.
|2.||4||GT1||Gavin/Beretta||5 laps||Corvette C6-R|
|4.||007||GT1||Enge/Turner||6 laps||Aston Martin DBR9|
|5.||009||GT1||Lamy/Srrazin||+12.004||Aston Martin DBR9|
|6.||16||P1||Weaver/Leitzinger||9 laps||Lola B06/10/AER|
|7.||23||GT2||Rockenfeller/Graf||+54.186||Porsche 911 GT3|
|8.||45||GT2||van Overbeek/Henzler||10 laps||Porsche 911 GT3|
|9.||62||GT2||Melo/Salo||11 laps||Ferrari 430 GT|
|10.||31||GT2||Bergmeister/Petersen/Long||12 laps||Porsche 911 GT3|