MONTEREY, CA September 16, 2011 – Dyson Racing followed up their one-two finish at Baltimore two weeks ago with a one-two qualifying effort today for the ModSpace American Le Mans Monterey race here at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Guy Smith was seven tenths quicker in the #16 ModSpace liveried Lola Mazda over Steven Kane in the #20 Oryx Dyson Racing entry. It was Smith’s fourth pole of the year and the third one-two start for Dyson Racing this season.
Smith won his first ALMS pole here last year. “There is no better place to get pole than at Mazda Raceway for a ModSpace race,” said Smith. “The car was really good in qualifying. There was an initial misfire, but we soon fixed that and I was amazed at how quickly the Dunlop tires worked. I gave it everything. Any time you are driving a race car on the edge and it is dancing around and on its limit – that is one of the most enjoyable things you can experience in a race car.”
Humaid Al Masaood and Kane are coming off their first ALMS win at the Baltimore GP. “To be honest, after spinning on my out lap yesterday, I was not sure we were off to a good start,” joked Kane. “I have to thank all the boys for giving us a great car that put us at the front again. We can make a few changes to the car to make it a little bit better for tomorrow, but I have grown to love this circuit in a short period of time.”
At six hours, tomorrow’s race is the third longest of the season. Joining Al Masaood and Kane this weekend is Butch Leitzinger, a fifteen-year veteran of Dyson Racing. “I was a little worried about how much “rust” would have caked on in the last two years but I think Dyson is embedded in my DNA. I felt like I had been here the whole time when I first got in the car and was able to get up to speed quickly. The car has been improved a lot since I last drove it. It is much more stable. It is like there is a ten percent improvement everywhere: it is better on entry, better on putting the power down, and the engine is much more responsive.”
Jay Cochran returns to the #16 Dyson entry, having last run with Dyson and Smith at the season-opening 12 Hours of Sebring. Cochran also noted the car’s improvement: “The whole package feels stiffer and you get a much better read across the whole platform that you did before. It is obvious that this is a team that never stands still.”
Dyson Racing has led the drivers’ and team championships since the Sebring race. They enter the penultimate round of the 2011 season with a 24-point edge over its season-long competitors, the Muscle Milk Aston Martin. Commenting on the championship, Dyson said, “the most important thing is completing the next two races and doing well. We want to run hard but not put the car in any undo risk. We will concentrate on the race and do what we have done throughout the season – execute on the track and in the pits.”