LONG BEACH, CA April 17, 2010 – Befitting a race held thirty-six miles from Hollywood, the Tequila Patron American Le Mans Series race at Long Beach provided some good theater. Chris Dyson and Guy Smith finished fourth in their #16 ARCO BP Mazda Lola coupe. Within that top-end of the field finish was a run from twenty-ninth to fourth on America’s most famous street track.
Dyson started third, and took second at the flag drop. On the seventh lap, the car nosed into the tire wall at turn one. Dyson recounted that “one of the Porsches dropped fluid and I was one of the first cars on the scene. I braked and turned in as normal and the front end just washed out. Thankfully the damage was minimal and we were able to continue after stopping for fuel and a check of the nose.”
Dyson took the Dunlop-shod entry from twenty-ninth to fifth in twenty-five laps. He pitted during the third full-course yellow, handing over to Smith. Gaining a position in the pits, Smith rejoined in fourth, setting his sights on Klaus Graf. “It was like a concertina effect,” said Smith. “Klaus and I were both working the traffic well. He would pull out a gap and than I would catch him in traffic and close up and than he would work traffic and back and forth it went. We just had a little too much push in the car to make the pass.”
The blue, white and red ARCO entry does take home third place points. “Since the second-place Aston Martin is not a full-season entry, it is not eligible for points,” Dyson explained. “So we will get third place points which will build on our podium finish at the 12 Hours of Sebring. I am very encouraged by today’s competitive run. This was our Sebring practice engine in the car today – hats off to AER for delivering a great product. We made some solid strides on the Mazda MZR-R turbo engine this winter and our qualifying and race pace this weekend demonstrate that advancement.”
The series moves northward up the California coast for the season’s third race on May 22nd at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The broadcast for the six-hour American Le Mans Series Monterey presented by Patron will be produced for the first time by Intersport Productions, the company that brought viewers worldwide the highly acclaimed “Truth in 24” documentary on the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
|1.||1||P||Brabham/Pagenaud||0||HPD ARX 01|
|2.||007||P||Primat/Fernandez||0.353||Lola B09 60|
|3.||6||P||Pickett/Graf||9.472||Porsche RS Spyder|
|5.||99||PC||Julian/Jeannette||1 lap||Oreca FLM09|
|6.||55||PC||Tucker/Bouchut||2 laps||Oreca FLM09|
|7.||36||PC||Hildebrand/Sutherland||2 laps||Oreca FLM09|
|8.||45||GT||Bergmeister/Long||2 laps||Porsche 911|
|9.||12||P||Drissi/Davis||2 laps||Lola B06 10|
|10.||3||GT||Magnussen/O`Connell||2 laps||Chevrolet Corvette|