LONG BEACH, CA April 19, 2008 – Approaching a third of the way through the 2008 American Le Mans season, the four Dyson Racing drivers could not be more evenly matched. Leaving today’s Long Beach Grand Prix, only one point separates the third place #16 Thetford/Norcold car’s drivers Chris Dyson and Guy Smith from their fourth place #20 compatriots, Marino Franchitti and Butch Leitzinger.
With no car-to-car contact, it was an incident-free seventy-one lap race around the eleven turn, 1.9 mile temporary street circuit. Leitzinger and Franchitti improved on their starting position with a fifth place LMP2 class finish, while Dyson and Smith picked up seventh place points, finishing just a second behind their teammates . Dyson started the # 16 Porsche RS Spyder and Franchitti the #20 car, with the pair racing nose to tail for the first hour of the race. Both Dyson cars pitted under yellow on lap 46 for their only stops of the 100 minute race. Leitzinger relieved Marino and pulled out ahead of Smith from the pits and they maintained the Dyson race within a race until four laps from the end when Leitzinger passed the Lowes Fernandez Racing Acura.
“It has been a competitive beginning of the season for us,” observed Chris Dyson. “We have shown that when the car is right, we are right up there challenging for the lead. We were just a bit off on our set-up today and that makes it tough on a street course. But we look forward to Salt Lake City where we had a class podium last year. We will be utilizing the longer breaks between our next two races for more testing along with another multi-day seven post rig test. Our seven post test last January continues to pay big dividends for us.
“Our progress also comes from the help of our partners and we would like to congratulate Michelin on their 250th ALMS class win in today’s race. Their push for constant improvement has been an important part of our cookbook.”
There will be a small breather until the next race on May 18 at Salt Lake City, UT. The race will be carried live on SPEED at 3:00 PM EDT.
|4.||7||P2||Dumas/Bernhard||5.440||Porsche RS Spyder|
|5.||6||P2||Maassen/Long||15.252||Porsche RS Spyder|
|7.||20||P2||Franchitti/Leitzinger||19.212||Porsche RS Spyder|
|9.||16||P2||Dyson/Smith||20.517||Porsche RS Spyder|
|10.||8||P2||Devlin/Bonilla||1 lap||Lola B07|