Tooele, UT July 10, 2010 – Chris Dyson qualified the Castrol Dyson Mazda in third place for tomorrow’s Utah Grand Prix at Miller Motorsports Park in Toole, Utah. The fifth race of the American Le Mans’ season kicks off the second half of the ALMS season and marks the debut of the team’s new Castrol livery. A second separated the top-five qualifiers with Dyson a half second off the pole.
“It was a good qualifying. The session before, we went the wrong direction on set-up, so we took a stab at a slightly different aero setting and played a bit with the cambers and the car was much better,” Dyson said. “We have been concentrating on the race set-up so I am pleased where we will be tomorrow. Our objective is to run our strategy and keep our head in the window all day and we will be right there at the end.”
This is the fifth ALMS race here at the first-class facility thirty miles west of Salt Lake City. Chris Dyson and Guy Smith are two of the eleven drivers who have raced in all five. Smith, who won the pole at the last race at Mazda Raceway, describes the track: “It is a rhythm circuit and a quick circuit. It is a high-speed track with lots of flowing corners. There are a number of long hairpins where you are in them for quite a long time. It is quite technical and a challenge for the engineers. You need the balance in the high speed corners, plus you need a car that is very good in the hairpins.”
Peter Weston, Dyson’s Technical Director, agrees the track is a challenge. “It is very smooth yet abrasive. The tires come back looking like they have been driven on sandpaper. The altitude means you probably only have about 60% of the downforce you have at sea level. The grip level is quite high, yet the downforce is quite low, so you need to go for mechanical support to keep the car upright to make the most of your aero because every last pound of aero is vital around here.”
Dyson arrived into town early to throw out the first pitch at the Salt Lake Bees game on Wednesday. The last two turns here on the fifteen-turn, three-mile track are called Wind-Up and Release. Dyson did hit a home run in batting practice on Wednesday. Here’s to the predictive power of home plate prowess.
Tomorrow’s two-hour, forty-five minute race is set for 2:35 p.m. SPEED will air the race live at 4:30 p.m. ET. Live radio coverage will also be available on ALMS Radio.
|2.||8||P||Drayson/Cocker/Pirro||1:34.886||Lola B09 60|
|4.||6||P||Pickett/Graf||1:34.948||Porsche RS Spyder|
|5.||37||P||Field/Field||1:35.379||Lola B06 10|
|6.||12||P||Willman/Burgess||1:37.689||Lola B09 60|