POUGHKEEPSIE, NY, MAY 6, 2004 — Dyson Racing today completed a two-day test at Mosport International Raceway that saw James Weaver set a faster lap time with the #16Thetford / Norcold Lola than he did in winning the pole for last year’s American Le Mans Series race at the legendary Canadian road circuit.
“Combined with the results from last month’s test at Mid-Ohio, the results this week at Mosport confirm the technical progress that our team has made over the winter,” said team owner Rob Dyson. “We won’t be racing at Mosport until August, but when we get there our goal is to win the pole again and improve by one position our second-place overall finish last year.”
The program did hit one bump in the road – literally. The running schedule was interrupted briefly on Wednesday when the #20 Thetford / Norcold Lola crashed before entering Turn 8. Driver Andy Wallace was not injured in the accident, and while the damage to the car was relatively minor, on-site repairs were impossible and the test continued with just the #16 Lola.
The accident was caused by a combination of a maintenance problem with the track and a strong headwind. While driving through gusty conditions, Wallace’s Lola pitched over a severe frost heave left by an unusually harsh Canadian winter, and turned over. The car landed on its rollover bar, skidded briefly along the track, and then flipped back onto its wheels. Wallaces tepped unaided from the car.
“It was a bit of an exciting ride,” Wallace said. “We checked the track first thing in the morning but you don’t notice everything in a rental car. Besides, all of us were eager to get on withour work. Afterwards, walking around the accident site, we noticed a large frostheave, which the data downloaded from the car confirms as having been the primary cause of the accident. I was sore when I woke up this morning, but other than that I’m fine.” Wallace continued to participate in the test, drivingthe #16 car.
The test was briefly delayed in order to give an outside contractor time to repair the frost heave. Later in the day, with the track fixed and despite cool temperatures, Weaver posted lap times approaching his 2003 ALMS pole time.“It’s a pity that we didn’t have both cars available,” Weaver noted. “We could have gotten through the items on our list faster with two cars, and it’s useful to be able to compare data from both cars. But we still had a productive and successful test.”
Drivers Butch Leitzinger and Chris Dyson also participated in the test.