BRASELTON, GA October 18, 2013 – It was a bifurcated qualifying effort for Dyson Racing today for the 16th Annual Petit Le Mans Powered by Mazda. Chris Dyson was on his third lap of qualifying when the brakes locked up going into turn 10a. A flat-spotted rear tire was replaced and Tony Burgess got in the car. He had yet to run in the dry and needed a time within 115 per cent of the top qualifier to be able to race. He accomplished that and the Mazda-powered #16 P1 Lola entry with Dyson, Burgess and Chris McMurrry will start eighth for tomorrow’s ten hour/1000 mile classic enduro, the second longest race of the year.
“The car is great and we made a big step today,” said Dyson. “For qualifying, I was too greedy under braking. We have a strong history here and know how to prepare a car for what is now a 1,000 mile sprint race. We will finish the year and last race of the series on an upbeat note.”
The last chapter of the American Le Mans Series continues to play out this week at the spiritual home of the ALMS. It is a time for reflection on fifteen years of the country’s most technologically advanced racing. Dyson talked about some of his more memorable races: “For me, it would be either Portland 2004 or Mid-Ohio 2010. Both of those events were pretty special as they were up front, exciting battles the whole time and the 2010 Mid-Ohio race we won. In terms of the most rewarding moments, I would say winning my first ALMS championship here at the Petit Le Mans in 2003 was huge for me personally and winning the championship again in 2011 was great. It is so rewarding when you finally scale the mountain because the effort you have to put in is so large.”
Burgess looked back and reflected on “the races where we did well and I contributed. Most recently that would be at Elkhart last year and again this year. Also, my first time at Mosport when I got on the P1 podium and we were third overall was special. The best races are where you are competitive, you have a job to do, and you are racing the whole time and not just holding on. The most satisfying are when you are in a competitive position for the whole race.”
McMurry was a little more forward thinking on picking his most memorable race. “I hope it is going to be Petit Le Mans 2013! We have an excellent chance. The car has been running great and we have good pace, but looking back, I would say Sebring 2005 with Miracle Motorsports was special. We won our class P2 with what I think is still the largest margin of victory in class. I got to do the final lap and take the checkered flag with all the fireworks going off and was able to savor the moment.”
The 1,000-mile (394 laps) or 10-hour Petit Le Mans will be televised live on FOX Sports 2 beginning at 11 a.m. ET on Saturday. Coverage throughout the day alternates between FOX Sports 2 and FOX Sports 1, including a live segment from 6:30-8 p.m. on FOX Sports 1. There will also be an encore presentation the following day on FOX Sports 1, beginning at 4 p.m. ET. Live coverage of the entire event will be available on FOX Sports’ new mobile application, FOX Sports GO (available on iOS devices only).