ST. PETERSBURG, FL April 5, 2008 – In a city known for 361 days a year of sunshine, there was a figurative spring shower on the Dyson team’s running of the second annual American Le Mans St. Petersburg Grand Prix. Running toward a second place finish, the #16 car of Chris Dyson and Guy Smith suffered a right rear puncture just as the track turned green during a late-race caution, moving them to fourth in LMP2 at the finish. And the #20 entry of Butch Leitzinger and Marino Franchitti were unable to capitalize on thirty laps of top-three driving when Butch Leitzinger was squeezed into a spin and hit by another car, ending their race ten laps from the end, putting them down to ninth in class.
“The car was really good,” commented Marino after his opening stint. “It was consistent and you could lean on it the whole run.” Guy Smith had the same opinion of his Porsche RS Spyder: “I was happy with our pace. Our third fastest race lap proves our competitive position. Fourth place could have been second but at the end of day we will take the points. This time last year we had a rough Sebring and St. Pete. We are running for the championship and these points add up.”
“Our runs at the front of the first two races of the season are stand-alone stories, noted Chris Dyson. “Taking the battle to some of the most competitive teams in our series has long been a hallmark of Dyson Racing.”
Dyson Racing would like to add its condolences to the wife and three daughters of Richard Lloyd who died in a plane crash last Sunday. A premier sportscar team owner, Richard Lloyd fielded wining teams for over thirty years with a record that included winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2003. “Richard was a leading light of sportscar racing since the mid ‘70’s,” commented team principal Rob Dyson. “A friend of Dyson Racing, he was a true gentleman with an impeccable eye for detail and preparation. His teams were always first class and he set the bar for all of us. Racing has lost one of its pillars of excellence.”
The ALMS moves cross country for its next race on April 19 at Long Beach CA. The race will be carried on ABC April 20 at 4:00 PM EDT.
|2.||7||P2||Dumas/Bernhard||0.818||Porsche RS Spyder|
|4.||6||P2||Maassen/Long||6.468||Porsche RS Spyder|
|5.||16||P2||Dyson/Smith||23.142||Porsche RS Spyder|
|6.||26||P2||Herta/Fittapaldi||1 lap||Acura ARX|
|7.||8||P2||Devlin/Bonilla||1 lap||Lola B07|
|10.||15||P2||Fernandez/Diaz||3 laps||Acura ARX|