ELKHART LAKE, WI August 17, 2012 – Established in 1955 as the first permanent road course in the U.S., Road America is a driver’s favorite. “It is just a high speed fun track. For me, the high speed corners here are the kind I really enjoy,” said Eric Lux who qualified second today for the Road America Road Race Showcase. He and co-driver Michael Marsal share the #20 Dyson Racing entry and joining them for tomorrow’s four-hour race is Tony Burgess who had his inaugural run in the car at Mosport.
Lux commented that “we had a similar situation to what we had at Mid-Ohio two weeks ago where we did not have much track time and the track was very green. But we worked through a load of changes and it was a really good effort in the right direction. We found three seconds from this afternoon’s session to the qualifying run. I told the guys on the radio that the ‘car is great. Leave it as is for the race.’”
The #16 Mazda-powered ModSpace entry of Chris Dyson and Guy Smith did not qualify and will start from the back of the grid. Dyson explained that, “we had a gearbox problem in the last practice session and we did not have time to turn the car around in time for qualifying. We have had nearly bullet-proof gearbox reliability and thankfully it happened in practice and not the race. This is a long race and where you start does not determine how you finish.”
Another reason drivers like this four-mile, 14-turn track is the way it produces close finishes. The average margin of victory for the last seven ALMS events is 1.358 seconds and last year Guy Smith set the record for the closest ALMS finish ever, finishing 0.112 behind Klaus Graf in the Muscle Milk car.
“Towards the end of the race, there was a safety car period which allowed me to get on the back of Klaus,” recounted Smith. “My car felt really good, but I could see that I was not going to be able to pass him on the straight. The only way I was going to do it was in traffic. Klaus was approaching three GTC cars in turn seven and I knew he was going to get balked. He chose to go to the right, but I knew the next corner was a left hander so I went to the left. I ended up mainly on the grass trying to make the pass and people told me it was quite spectacular. Unfortunately, there was not quite enough momentum to get past him and we both came out pretty much even. On the last lap, coming up the hill towards the start finish line he bobbled a bit and I was able to edge beside him and it got close – (0.112). It was a great finish for the ALMS and all the fans at Road America and hopefully we can put it right and beat them this year!”
The four-hour Road America Road Race Showcase is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. CT on Saturday, Aug. 18. ESPN2’s telecast begins at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday, Aug. 19. Full, live coverage starts tomorrow at 3:15 p.m. ET on ESPN3.
You can follow Dyson Racing at: dysonracing.com, Facebook; Twitter, and YouTube.