TROIS-RIVIERES, QUEBEC, AUG. 3 — One week after claiming its first overall American Le Mans Series victory, Thetford / Norcold Dyson Racing had a trying time in the Trois-Rivieres G.P. After running third overall with one car, both of the team`s MG-Lola EX257`s were forced to retire with mechanical problems.
Butch Leitzinger and James Weaver, victors at Sonoma last weekend, ran a competitive third in their #16 machine before electrical problems eliminated the car a little more than one hour into the three-hour event. Teammates Andy Wallace and Chris Dyson saw their hopes vanish in the first laps of the race when the engine in their #20 car expired.
“We had a decent car today,” Leitzinger said afterwards. “This was not going to be our best track, but we did learn quite a bit here for the future street races.”
“I think that the engine ran quite well all weekend,” Leitzinger`s teammate James Weaver said. “This was really the first time we have run this car in street course trim, and we are still learning what direction we need to go on setup. Goodyear has done a massively good job with the tires, and they are only going to get better. I am still quite optimistic and we are all looking forward to Mosport in two weeks.”
Despite the early race exit, Andy Wallace was pleased that the #20 car`s setup was a huge improvement over earlier sessions. “We discovered some things after the warmup, and the car had much better turn-in everywhere in the race. It is a shame that we had the engine problem, but at the very least we figured out what we had been doing wrong. The car should be fantastic at Mosport.”
Chris Dyson was philosophical. Despite losing his lead in the LMP675 championship standings, Dyson remains upbeat about upcoming events. “There are still five races left in this championship, and a lot can happen,” Dyson said. “Our engine reliability up to now has been really quite excellent, so I am sure everyone at AER will be working hard to find out what went wrong. I am sure it will not happen again. We tested up at Mosport two months ago and went well, so I am confident we can turn things around there.”
The team`s next event is the Grand Prix of Mosport, on August 17.