After leading 31 laps, Dyson Racing ended up finishing in second place at VIR

The second place points moved Guy Smith into third in the driver's championship.

ALTON, VA - Dyson Racing led thirty-one laps of the eighty-four lap Oak Tree Grand Prix at VIR in one of the more competitive P1 races of the 2013 American Le Mans Series season. Johnny Mowlem drove the first stint and handed the car over to Guy Smith in first place.

#16 Dyson Racing Team Inc. Lola B12/60 Mazda: Guy Smith, Johnny Mowlem
#16 Dyson Racing Team Inc. Lola B12/60 Mazda: Guy Smith, Johnny Mowlem

Photo by: Art Fleischmann

Smith led from lap thirty-seven through fifty-six and for many of those laps, the leading gap was less than a second. After a fuel strategy gamble paid off for the Muscle Milk car, the #16 Thetford/RACER Lola Mazda ended up finishing in second place. The second place points moved Smith into third in the driver's championship.

Guy Smith won the pole yesterday on the seventeen-turn, 3.27 mile southern Virginia course. Commenting after the race, Smith said, "We had a solid car all weekend long. Every session we have been quickest or close to.

The pole position was fantastic: it was a reward for all the work everyone has put in. The car has improved all year. I really felt we had a shot in the race. We raced them hard and led the race. I wish we had the car we have now and the season was starting again at Sebring!

Johnny Mowlem is one of only a few drivers who have competed in every race year in the American Le Mans Series since its inception in 1999. Johnny talked about his effort: "The car was very good as was shown yesterday after what Guy did in qualifying. I was annoyed at myself at the start because I was too tentative on the (cold) tires, so Klaus got a gap on me the first few laps.

But we had a yellow which bunched us up again and the second time around I did not make the mistake. I pushed really hard and kept the gap around four seconds and in traffic I was taking some risks to keep him close and I actually found that I was catching him and then he made a mistake and I got past him. I basically kept pushing and pushing and used the traffic to my advantage and I gave the car over to Guy in the lead as I promised him I would!

He then did a phenomenal job and got past Lucas to lead after the pits stops and I thought this is looking really good. The Muscle Milk car pitted under the second yellow and they could not go to the end without another stop, but then they got very lucky with a twenty minute yellow four laps later that allowed them to run to the end. The Dyson guys worked so hard this weekend, and deserved to win."

The American Le Mans Series stays south and will be holding its final race October 19th at Road Atlanta. At last year's 1000 mile Petit Le Mans Powered by Mazda, Dyson Racing took home the maximum ALMS points in their #16 entry. This year, Chris Dyson, Tony Burgess and Chris McMurry will be bringing the curtain down on fifteen years of the ALMS at the Petit Le Mans in their Mazda-powered Lola.

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About this article
Series ALMS
Article type Race reports
Tags alms, dyson racing, lola, mowlem, smith, vir

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