LEXINGTON, OH August 8, 2009 – The #20 BP Mazda Lola of Butch Leitzinger and Marino Franchitti led LMP2 from the drop of the flag at today’s Mid-Ohio ALMS race to the first pit stop on lap 51of the 118 lap race. Marino Franchitti was running a strong second in class until 20 minutes from the end when a rear suspension failure caused by contact from a slower GT car ended his race. “Our car was rockin’. The stops were great and we were putting on a spirited battle, but our race was ended early for us,” said Franchitti. The two winners of the prior race at Lime Rock finished with a third in class.
The 16 car was second in class at the start of the race when the two Dyson cars got the jump on the pole sitting LMP2 car. The 16 car team took advantage of a twenty minute yellow after the first lap of the race to top up the car with fuel twice to give it a fuel strategy advantage. This put starter Chris Dyson down in 24th position, but he carved his way through the field, setting fastest class lap to that point. He was second in class when he handed the car over to Guy Smith on lap 56. On lap 63, Guy Smith radioed in that “I was coming out of the Carrousel and the car lost boost.” The car was driven back to the garage but it was determined the necessary repairs could not be done in time.
“It is too bad. You never want to come away from a race weekend with these kinds of results when you have such fast cars,” said Dyson. “We were on pace to add a good result to our Lime Rock win. Both cars had the speed and it is unfortunate what happened to Marino. The slower cars need to race with sufficient awareness and respect for the battles going on at the front of the field. But resiliency produces results and we will regroup and move on to Road America next weekend.”
Mazda is the brand choice of road racers across North America. On any given weekend, there are more Mazdas on the road-race-tracks of America than any other brand. You will see MX-5 Miata, RX-8, MAZDA3, MAZDA6, RX-7 and other vintage Mazda models because every Mazda has the Soul of a Sports Car.
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