BRASELTON, GA October 19, 2012 – Reigning American Le Mans Series champions Dyson Racing qualified third and fourth for the season-ending 15th Annual Petit Le Mans Powered by Mazda. The 1,000 mile/ten-hour race will decide the championship with Chris Dyson and Guy Smith thirteen points out of first. Dyson drivers occupy second through sixth in the championship tally.
Guy Smith qualified in third place in the #16 Mazda-powered ModSpace/Thetford entry, one second off pole. “We knew that we would not have the ultimate pace in qualifying but we have done enough ten-hour races to know that anything can happen,” said Smith. “All three of us, Chris Dyson, Steven Kane and myself, have been comfortably fast in the car and are confident of a good race tomorrow. We have a good race car and will focus on what is in our control, our own performance, and the results will come.”
Mark Patterson qualified the #20 Dyson Racing entry fourth. Sharing the car with veteran drivers Tony Burgess and Chris McMurry, he joked “that between us, we have 164 years of driving experience in this car! Seriously, it was a very satisfying qualifying session. Vince Wood, our race engineer, said we would break into the 12’s and we did. He deserves all the credit. He made simple little changes one at a time and he gave us a great car.”
New to Dyson Racing this weekend is Chris McMurry. He noted that “to be perfectly honest, this is the easiest car I have driven. It is so responsive. Things that I have had to diligently think about in the past, such as doing turn twelve flat, is just a no brainer in this car. The Dyson team has done an amazing job with this car. I think the “geriatric trio” will do very well tomorrow.
“This is my first time driving for Dyson Racing and it is different than what I thought. The difference is the hospitality, the character of the people and the friendliness. They embrace you with open arms and are supportive and encouraging and focused on helping everyone get the result we want. I have not experienced that with any team at this level.”
Commenting on the championship battle, Dyson said, “If this year has taught us anything, it is until the checkered flag drops, it is not over. We will execute as we have been doing all year. Both cars have been immaculately prepared and are ready for the second longest race of the year. Besides, we have Steven Kane with us, who drove with us for our first win of the year at the 12 Hours of Sebring. We think of him as our Irish good luck charm! It has been an amazing year with good competition the whole way with some great races. We will close out the season as we started by pushing the Muscle Milk guys and showing the fans what top-level prototype racing is all about.”
The 15th annual Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda airs on ABC from 1:00 to 3:00 PM ET on Sunday October 21. The 1,000 mile/ten-hour race begins at 11:30 AM tomorrow with full live coverage starting at 11:15 AM on ESPN3.
You can follow Dyson Racing at: dysonracing.com, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.