LONG BEACH, CA April 18, 2008 – In the closest qualifying session of 2008, Dyson Racing qualified sixth and seventh in class for the second annual ALMS race here on the palm-lined streets of Long Beach. Guy Smith qualified the #16 Porsche RS Spyder sixth in LMP2 with Butch Leitzinger lining up seventh in class in the #20 Thetford/Norcold entry here on the grandfather of American street courses.
Leitzinger’s fast lap was interrupted by the session’s first red flag. ‘With cold tires, there was a fair amount of oversteer, but my tires had just come in when the flag was thrown,” noted Leitzinger. Smith said that his car was similar to qualifying at St. Petersburg where the consistency of the qualifying laps translated into a quick car on race day.
At 100 minutes, tomorrows’ race is the shortest of the season. Leitzinger, who came in third here last year, noted the importance of strategy for tomorrow. “With only one stop, strategy will be more important than anything else, including the starting position, so making the right call on when to make the stop and executing it quickly will be key.” Noted Marino Franchitti, Leitzinger’s team mate, “At 100 minutes, you run this as a hard sprint race. It is a proper old-school street course: challenging, but fun. You have surface changes, different cambers on the corners and bumps on entry that make braking a true test.”
“Last year was our first race here with the RS Spyder,” said Chris Dyson. “This year we are able to come off the truck with a quick car. We have been able to fuse everything we have learned since then and that helps to efficiently compress the weekends and condense our priorities. It is a night and day difference between this time last year.”
Round 3 of the 2008 season is scheduled for 4:10 p.m. PT on Saturday, April 19. ABC will broadcast the race from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, April 20. XM Satellite Radio will provide coverage on Channel 144 from 7 to 9 p.m. ET Saturday, April 19. American Le Mans Radio will have live coverage of the race at americanlemans.com, which also will feature IMSAs Live Timing & Scoring.
|1.||7||P2||Dumas/Bernhard||1:11.330||Porsche RS Spyder|
|4.||6||P2||Maassen/Long||1:11.583||Porsche RS Spyder|
|8.||16||P2||Dyson/Smith||1:12.428||Porsche RS Spyder|
|9.||20||P2||Franchitti/Leitzinger||1:13.050||Porsche RS Spyder|