Excitement in Motor City It was arguably the most eventful and best race of the American Le Mans season to date. The Detroit Sports Car Challenge was an equally good race for Dyson Racing. Butch Leitzinger and Andy Wallace finished second in...
Excitement in Motor City
It was arguably the most eventful and best race of the American Le Mans season to date. The Detroit Sports Car Challenge was an equally good race for Dyson Racing. Butch Leitzinger and Andy Wallace finished second in LMP2 in their #16 Porsche RS Spyder and Chris Dyson and Guy Smith's sister #20 was fifth in class after running in the top three almost the entire race. Wallace and Leitzinger moved into a four-way tie for third in drivers' points and Dyson Racing's class podium was the determining factor in Porsche clinching both the engine and chassis championship today.
The carbon fiber detritus at the first turn was a harbinger for a race of close contact around the Belle Isle circuit. "The Highcroft (Acura) hit me hard in the rear at the start," observed Smith. "It knocked a chunk of the rear body work off and it really damaged the rear wheel quite badly." The first of four yellows came out on the nineteenth lap and the team split pit strategies and kept the #20 car out. "That was a smart move and when it went green and we were able to stay in the lead and run well," said Smith. "It was a very eventful stint and it was fun to run at the sharp end."
Chris Dyson got in the #20 car on lap 58 of the 106 lap race and was running third with twenty minutes to go when the transmission briefly stuck between third and fourth gear. "I was taking the last corner onto the pit straight in fourth gear. When I changed up that lap, the gear didn't select fourth. I lost drive and we lost four spots in a flash," said Dyson. "Of course I'm a bit frustrated, because without that one problem, there's no doubt that we would have finished second and had two cars on the podium today. But this was a weekend that showcased our competitiveness, and we were in the hunt all day. Our second half has been very strong this year and it's good momentum to carry into the Petit Le Mans." "Chris was ahead of me and doing a fantastic job of holding the Audi off," noted Leitzinger. "This race was absolutely frantic from the first lap with great scraps and a great finish."
"Our congratulations to Porsche for clinching both championships," remarked Rob Dyson. "It is interesting when you go to their Stuggart museum and look at their race cars of the `50's and 60's, you see the same attention to detail and the same engineering DNA that you see in our Spyders. That is why some manufactures always end up on top: they have an uninterrupted history of knowing what it takes to win."