LEXINGTON, OH August 5, 2011 – At the last American Le Mans Series race at Mosport two weeks ago, Guy Smith commented that he is enjoying his driving more than ever. It shows. The defending winners of last year’s Mid-Ohio race, Chris Dyson and Guy Smith, will start from pole position in their #16 G-OIL ModSpace Construct Corps Lola Mazda for tomorrow’s Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge. Guy Smith won his second pole of the year and fourth ALMS pole with a time of 1:12.727 around the 15 turn, 2.4-mile track. The #20 Oryx Dyson Racing car with Humaid Al Masaood and Steven Kane qualified third on the grid, less than a second back. In his first time at what has been called the most challenging track in America, Kane set his fastest time on the last lap of qualifying.
“Qualifying was a bit of a wild ride with a lot of time sideways but I have been doing some rallying in the off-season, so that came in useful,” recounted Smith. “But that is what I like about Mid-Ohio: it is a very challenging high speed circuit with a variety of technical corners. It is one of those circuits where you can be three-tenths of a second off and you can suck it up and push a little bit harder and find the time. There are not many circuits where you can actually do that.”
“Today showed the advantages of running two cars,” said Kane. “Some think it is nice to have all the focus on yourself, but with two cars, you can start from two different directions and at the end of the weekend come together with a much better car. Our relationship between our two cars is great because we help each other and want to make both cars better. With Humaid and myself learning these tracks for the first time, it is good to have the best people around you.”
Al Masaood noted that “with two cars, you are basically doubling your session time. An hour session becomes two. You can work on aero on one car while doing damper work on the other and both cars benefit. We think this track will suit us more than Mosport and look to continue getting stronger each outing.”
“Mid-Ohio has always occupied a special place in Mazda and Dyson Racing’s history, said Dyson. “Mazda won its first ALMS LMP2 race here in 2005 and we have four wins and three one-two finishes at Mid-Ohio. Our win last year was very memorable for our partners Dunlop, Lola, and Mazda and now this year we have the additional strength that Humaid and Steven bring to the table. They have two podium finishes in their two races to date and have shown solid speed all weekend.”
The fifth round of the 2011 ALMS championship is set for 3:30 p.m. ET tomorrow with ESPN2 airing the race starting at 10 p.m. ET on Sunday, August 7. Live coverage will be available at 3:15 p.m. ET on ESPN3.com and americanlemans.com for international viewers. Worldwide radio coverage is available at americanlemans.com.