BRASELTON, GA October 3, 2008 The Petit Le Mans is the only race in the American Le Mans Series that is distance-measured (1000 miles) rather than time-determined. If qualifying is any indication, it will be appreciably faster than last year’s nine hours and twenty minutes. At the end of qualifying for the eleventh running of the ALMS’ signature event, fifteen cars were faster than last year’s record time. Both Dyson Racing Porsche RS Spyders broke last year’s LMP2 qualifying record and will line-up eighth and ninth in P2.
Guy Smith drove the #16 Dyson entry to the eighth starting position. Last year, Smith and Chris Dyson finished third overall and second in class in the penultimate race of the ALMS series. In the five times Dyson has run the Petit Le Mans, he has finished off the class podium only once. In his first Petit Le Mans with Dyson Racing, Marino Franchitti qualified the #20 Thetford/Norcold car ninth, less than three tenths of a second behind Smith. Sharing driving duties with Franchitti will be Andy Lally and Butch Leitzinger. This is the second year Lally has joined Dyson for the Petit. He also helped the team finish second at this year’s 12 Hours of Sebring. Leitzinger drove in the inaugural 1998 Petit and has driven in all ten since then, eight of them with Dyson Racing.
“One of the good things about this race is that it is toward the end of the year and drivers feel more freedom to go for it,” stated Leitzinger. “Sebring is the year’s first race and you think more in terms of points for the season, so you check yourself up a little bit, but here, you have the chance to drive flat out for ten hours.” “The cars have become so strong over the years that even a 24 hour race is a sprint race,” said Lally. “This is a really quick track with great competition this year. It is a prestigious race to compete in and always fun to be part of.”
“The history of the Porsche marquee is built on endurance excellence,” noted Dyson. “Our cars are well-suited for Road Atlanta and we look forward tomorrow to adding to Porsche’s history of long-distance success.” The 1,000-mile/10-hour race is scheduled for 11:15 a.m. tomorrow. SPEED will televise the race live with online streaming video available from 1 to 6:30 p.m. ET at americanlemans.com. XM Satellite Radio will air live race coverage throughout the day on XM Channel 166. Live coverage from ALMS Radio will be available at americanlemans.com, which also will feature IMSA’s live timing and scoring.
|4.||5||P2||Castronveves/Briscoe||1:07.061||Porsche RS Spyder|
|5.||7||P2||Dumas/Bernhard||1:07.149||Porsche RS Spyder|
|6.||6||P2||Maassen/Long/Collard||1:07.149||Porsche RS Spyder|
|8.||66||P2||de Ferran/Pagenaud/Dixon||1:07.656||Acura ARX|