BRASELTON, GA September 30, 2011 – Like the first race of the 2011 American Le Mans season, the last race of the season includes cars from the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, including the European dominating diesels from Audi and Peugeot. Qualifying for the Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda saw the two Dyson Racing Lola Mazdas qualify ninth and twelfth for the 14th running of the ten hour/1,000 mile classic, the largest international sporting event in Georgia.
Steven Kane qualified the #20 Oryx Dyson Racing car ninth in the fifty-three car field. “We had a very good car this morning, but there was a wind in qualifying we have not had all week. That caused the car to touch in a couple places and with the two long straights here, that takes speed out of the car. The car was good in the corners so obviously we have a good car. Tomorrow will be cooler and windy and we will adjust accordingly.”
Humaid Al Masaood, Kane’s teammate, noted that, “We have a very reliable car plus the experience of Butch Leitzinger as our third driver this weekend. With a 1000-mile race in front of us, it is important we have a strategy that can be adapted to the challenges that occur in endurance racing. It will be key to get as much out of the car as possible and make sure we finish the race to give us a good result.”
“We qualified tenth at Sebring in March and finished first in ALMS points at the end of the twelve-hour race,” said Chris Dyson, qualifier of the #16 G-OIL ModSpace/Construct Corps entry. “Qualifying is good for bragging rights, but does not pay points. We expect to close out the season in the manner that brought us our championships this year.”
Sharing the car with Dyson and Guy Smith this weekend is Jay Cochran, who also co-drove with them at Sebring. Smith has won four poles this season including the pole at the ModSpace Monterey two weekends ago. It was the third one-two qualifying effort for the team this year. “The Europeans will fight their own battles tomorrow. These are long races. The goal is to be there at the end, and the results will come,” commented Smith.
Dyson Racing wrapped up four American Le Mans Series championships at Mazda Raceway two weeks ago. Dyson Racing won the team championship and Chris Dyson and Guy Smith took home the driver’s honors. Mazda won the manufacturer’s championship and Dunlop the tire title fight. “We are relieved to have gotten the championships wrapped up before coming here to Petit,” Dyson said. “To be able to come to this great event with the freedom to race without worrying about points, makes for a much more enjoyable weekend. It feels good – like a reward for all of the hard work the team has put in this year.”
The 14th annual Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda will take place Saturday, Oct. 1 at Road Atlanta and air on ABC at 4 p.m. ET, Sunday, Oct. 2. Live coverage will be available in the U.S. on ESPN3 or outside the U.S. on americanlemans.com.