ALTON, VA September 15, 2012 – Chris Dyson, Guy Smith and Johnny Mowlem finished second overall and second in P1 at the first ever American Le Mans Series race here at Virginia International Raceway. Michael Marsal and Mark Peterson just missed making it a double P1 podium for Dyson Racing after retiring on lap 94 of the 135 lap four-hour American Le Mans Series VIR 240.
The #16 Mazda-powered ModSpace/Thetford car qualified second and ran second for 92 laps of the 135 lap race. Chris Dyson started the car and drove the first 45 minute stint. Johnny Mowlem did a yeoman’s middle stint of over two hours and handed it over Guy Smith who took the checkered flag.
Dyson commented that “at the end of the day we did not have the pace today to really contend so our strategy was to execute and make sure we got both cars home in the points, which we accomplished. We introduced the Flybrid KERS hybrid system this weekend and our first impressions are very favorable. It is in its early days yet, and we will continue to optimize it for the Petit (Le Mans).”
The #20 Dyson Racing entry had a more eventful race. It spun at the first turn on the first lap and eventually retired towards race end with a heat-damaged wiring harness. It just missed completing the 70 percent of race distance needed to earn third place P1 points by .0038 percent. Mark Patterson started the race. “The front two cars went side by side into the first turn,” said Patterson. “I did not want to run into them and affect the championship race. The brakes and tires were cold and I spun around slowly and with the close quarters at the beginning of a race, a couple of cars made contact with us.” Patterson brought the car in and the crew replaced the front nose and rear clip and resumed with a solid double stint. Mark’s co-driver Michael Marsal commended the team on getting the car back out quickly. Marsal added “it was a pretty decent race car when I got into it after Mark’s first two hours in the car and I just wanted to do well for the team and get back as much time I could. Mark drove a very fast stint and my hats off to him for his first time in the car.”
The 2012 ALMS season ends in five weeks’ time at the ten-hour, thousand miles, Petit Le Mans. “The championship is still to be decided and anything can happen,” noted Guy Smith. “We are the current champions and we will take the fight to the Muscle Milk team at Petit.” Chris Dyson added, “We kept the championship alive today and we will go to Petit and continue on with relentless execution, and push for a strong finish to the year.”
The internationally recognized Petit Le Mans will be held at Road Atlanta on October 20th.
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