BALTIMORE, MD September 2, 2011 – Dyson Racing will start first and second for the inaugural American Le Mans Series Baltimore Grand Prix this Labor Day weekend, in their second one-two qualifying effort of the season. Guy Smith won the pole in the #16 G-OIL ModSpace/Construct Corp Lola Mazda he shares with Chris Dyson. It was his third pole of the season. Steven Kane was a tenth of a second back in the #20 Oryx Dyson Racing entry he co-drives with Humaid Al Masaood. Smith was also fastest in today’s two practice sessions on the new Baltimore street track here at the Inner Harbor area of Baltimore that includes the Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Smith commented that “Baltimore has done a great job with the circuit. It is demanding and bumpy but that is what street courses are all about. If they were the same as everywhere else they would not be special. I now have this fast young teammate who is always pushing me. It was a good battle with Steven and I am looking forward to tomorrow.”
My last street race was in Monaco six years ago,” said Kane. “It is great to back on city streets. There is great atmosphere here and the track is a challenge with a variety of slow corners and surfaces. Some parts are new tarmac and are very nice and clean and suit the car, and than you have the parts like the front straight and the back section that are very bumpy and a challenge for the engineers and for us driving and learning the track.”
To be quick off the truck on a brand-new street track with limited practice time shows the value of a strong engineering department. Peter Weston, Technical Director, talked about what it takes to prepare for a new street track. “Our job is to produce the best possible car for each individual circuit you go to. New street tracks are a huge leveler for drivers and engineers alike. The goal is to give the drivers the most drivable package you can so they can just stay out and spend their time learning the track. That is the key. You do not want to bring the driver into the pit to make changes during valuable practice time. So you concentrate on arriving at the track with a car that has the proper gearing, ride height that suits the track, and a car that absorbs the bumps so a driver can put the power down smoothly.”
“A new track like this shows what teams and drivers are made of,” said Rob Dyson. “I cannot be more proud of how hard our guys work. There is a lot of racing still to be run tomorrow, but a win would be very fitting on Labor Day weekend.”
The Baltimore Grand Prix is set for 4:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, September 3. The race will air on ABC, Sunday, Sept. 4 at 4 p.m. ET (2 p.m. PT) and be shown live in the U.S. on ESPN3.com or americanlemans.com outside the U.S. Live coverage also will be available on Rogers Sportsnet in Canada and MotorsTV in Europe.