JULY 17, 2005 — Chris Dyson and Andy Wallace finished second this afternoon in the fifth race of the American Le Mans Series at Sonoma, CA. Starting from the pole, Andy Wallace slotted into second and remained there until lap twelve when he was passed for third. Twenty-four laps later, he radioed in that the car has stopped on track. Switching to the other fuel pump, the car restarted and he rejoined in fourth, one lap down. On lap forty-two, Wallace pitted under green for fuel, tires and driver change with Chris Dyson getting in the car. Perseverance defines racing. Dyson set the third fastest lap of the race on lap eighty three and finished on the lead lap in second place, getting his lap back when he passed the leader on the race restart twenty minutes from the end.
It was a little bit different race story for the # 16 Thetford/Norcold car of Butch Leitzinger and James Weaver. This area`s name, “Sonoma,” is an Indian word for “many moons.” It was a long race for Leitzinger and Weaver. After side-by-side contact with the # 2 Audi on the first lap, Leitzinger spun and rejoined at the end of the field. The car was OK and he was up to sixth by lap six, and fourth by lap eight, less than nine seconds off the lead. A little bit before halfway, the #16 car lost power steering. The IMSA boost monitoring box had come loose in the cockpit and knocked the power steering trip switch from its mounting, necessitating two stops to fix it. With James Weaver in the car, the gear box started to act up and more time was lost in the pits switching the car to manual shift. The Englishman was in tenth place on lap eighty and by race end — thirty-one laps later — Weaver`s labors paid off and he brought the car home fifth, fourth in class.
“It goes to show you that the guys did a great job with the set up,” remarked Chris Dyson. “My teammate Andy gave me a great car. We worked well together all weekend. The fuel pump problem was the only hitch today. I think we had something for them today, and we are looking forward to Portland.”
The ALMS travels next to Portland for a Saturday race on July 31.