TOOELE, UT May 18, 2008 – Befitting a race track right up the Interstate from the Bonneville Salt Flats, today’s third running of Utah Grand Prix was one of the faster races in ALMS history. In a race that mirrored the close competiveness of qualifying, Dyson Racing finished fourth and sixth on one of the more demanding circuits on the American Le Mans circuit.
Butch Leitzinger and Marino Franchitti in the #20 Thetford/Norcold entry moved up to third in the championship with their fourth place finish. “Alan Wilson has designed a track conducive to this kind of close competitive racing,” said Leitzinger. “You are able to muscle the car around to create opportunities to pass and we were able to do that today and gain some good points.”
Chris Dyson and Guy Smith in the #16 Porsche RS Spyder started from the back of the grid, after having to change tires because of a puncture in yesterday’s qualifying, but charged to a sixth place finish, with Dyson moving the car up sixteen positions in the first ten laps. “We knew we had a good race car and were able to capitalize on our speed and good pit stops,” noted Dyson.
Leitzinger had a good start, advancing to sixth at the start and was third by lap twelve. Butch handed the car over to Marino Franchitti an hour and ten minutes into the race in sixth place. Franchiiti had a spirited battle with Simon Pagenaud for a podium finish, closing the gap lap by lap to under a second in the closing half hour, but fuel conservation in the last laps widened the gap at the end.
Dyson had an equally determined race taking the car from twenty-sixth to seventh when Guy Smith got in the car on the fifty-third lap. Smith finished sixth, setting his fastest race lap three laps from the end.
“This was a race of spirited driving,” stated Dyson. “Butch put on a great show for the fans. We were consistently up front this weekend and look forward to showcasing more of that spirit as we head to round five at our home track at Lime Rock on July 12.”
|1.||7||P2||Dumas/Bernhard||0||Porsche RS Spyder|
|2.||6||P2||Maassen/Long||22.656||Porsche RS Spyder|
|3.||66||P2||de Ferran/Pagenaud||26.839||Acura ARX|
|4.||20||P2||Franchitt/Leitzinger||46.121||Porsche RS Spyder|
|6.||16||P2||Dyson/Smith||1 lap||Porsche RS Spyder|
|7.||2||P1||Luhr/Werner||1 lap||Audi R10|
|8.||26||P2||Herta/Fittapaldi||2 laps||Acura ARX|
|9.||8||P2||Devlin/Bonilla||3 laps||Lola B07|
|10.||3||GT1||OConnell/Magnusssen||8 laps||Lola B07|