September 30, 2005 – Dyson Racing qualified fourth and fifth today for the penultimate round of the American Le Mans series, the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. For the second-longest race of the ALMS season, James Weaver in the #16 Thetford/Norcold Lola will start fourth and Chris Dyson in the #20 entry fifth. Dyson, pole winner at Mosport, said, “We missed on the tire pressures today. We need to adjust the balance a little bit more for tomorrow. It is a ten hour race and that has been our focus all weekend. The track was hotter than this morning and there was less overall grip, but this helps us dial in the car for the conditions we are going to be facing tomorrow.” James Weaver, winner at Mosport with Butch Leitzinger, commented, “It was a reasonable qualifying, just not quick enough. We had better balance this morning, but for qualifying we had too much understeer and whenever you tried to go quicker, you ended up with a four wheel understeer drift.”
The green flag for the eighth Petit le Mans will be thrown tomorrow morning at 11:20 and will be checkered after ten hours or 1,000 miles later, whichever comes first. It has become a classic endurance race here in the red clay hills of Georgia. As at the Twelve Hours of Sebring, Dyson Racing welcomes back Guy Smith, who will pair with Dyson in the #20 Lola. “I particularly like this circuit,” noted Smith. “It is a fast course with a variety of turns that keeps you on your toes. For a ten hour race, you want a car that is easy to drive. If you are off the ultimate pace, but you can do that pace consistently, lap after lap, that is what is important.”
The Sebring pairing will also be repeated for the #16 car with Butch Leitzinger, Andy Wallace and James Weaver sharing driving duties. Both cars do feature more permanent pairings: Guy Smith was married on August 20 (“it was a big wedding – the best day of our lives”), and Andy Wallace is planning to tie the knot this fall. We wish them all the best.
The Petit Le Mans will be shown live on SPEED Channel from 11:00 AM – 5:30 PM and 5:30 – 9:30 PM EST on Saturday, October 1.
|8.||30||P2||P.Bennett/J.Barazi/E.Julian||1:15.238||Courage C-65 AER|
|9.||10||P2||J.Gue/C.McMurry/J.Bucknum||1:15.378||Courage C-65 AER|
|10.||12||P1||M.Lewis/B.Willman||1:15.525||Riley & Scott MRK III|