ELKHART LAKE, WI August 16, 2009 – Unlike forty years ago today, the rain stayed away and the seventh race of the American Le Mans Series here at Road America was one of the fastest of the season. Butch Leitzinger and Marino Franchitti started from pole and raced their #20 BP Mazda Lola to second place in LMP2 and fourth overall in a race of speed and tactics.
The last thirty minutes of the race was a shoot- out between the 20 car and Adrian Fernandez with Leitzinger keeping pressure on the Lowe’s car right till the end. Leitzinger said “Rob Dyson got on the radio and said ‘Butch, we have a race on our hands here.’ Strategy and good pit stops put us in a strong position at the end and we came close to bringing Mazda its second win of the year.”
The #16 car of Chris Dyson and Guy Smith was leading LMP2 when it came in for its first pit stop on lap 28 and was caught out coming in while the track went to a full course caution and the pits were closed. Low on fuel, the team had no choice but to pit, and the resulting penalty put the car down to ninth overall and fourth in class. Dyson’s move to the front came to an end forty-five minutes from the end of the race when he was hit in the rear by a car spinning coming out of turn fourteen, retiring the car.
“It would have been an ideal weekend if we could have added a victory to our winning the pole yesterday,” said Dyson. “But we showed our guests from BP and Mazda this weekend just how competitive their cars are. We go to Mosport in two weeks time, our home away from home and, and a track where Dyson Racing has enjoyed more success than any other in the ALMS calendar.”
Mazda is the brand choice of road racers across North America. On any given weekend, there are more Mazdas on the road-race-tracks of America than any other brand. You will see MX-5 Miata, RX-8, MAZDA3, MAZDA6, RX-7 and other vintage Mazda models because every Mazda has the Soul of a Sports Car.
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