A Zoom With a View
MONTEREY, CA October 9, 2009 - Carrying BP's ARCO livery for the last race of the American Le Mans Series season, Butch Leitzinger qualified second in LMP2 for tomorrow's "Racing Into the Darkness" four hour race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The #20 Mazda Lola won the Petit Le Mans two weekends ago with Butch Leitzinger, Marino Franchitti and Ben Devlin from pole, the team's third consecutive front row start.
Leitzinger set his fastest time on his last qualifying lap. He said that "each lap was quicker than the rest. I think if we had a little more track time we could have pulled out some more. But we have a solid car for the race, and unlike other cars we have driven, this car is not as affected by temperature changes. Some cars' handling goes in a completely different direction when the temperature drops, but not the Mazda Lola. That is always a help to a driver's confidence!"
Ben Devlin is pairing with Chris Dyson and Guy Smith in the #16 BP entry this weekend. After a successful run at the Petit Le Mans, the car will be running BP's biofuel blend of gasoline, ethanol and biobutanol. Since the fuel is not widely available, the car will not be running for points and did not participate in the qualifying session. The #16 car has been consistently quick this weekend, including setting fastest overall time in this morning's practice session.
Chris Dyson, the ALMS leader in consecutive starts, said "it is fitting to close out our first season with Mazda here at their home track. We welcome our new partner for this race, ARCO and all of our friends from BP and Mazda. We have won here before and have had some great races at this track. Back-to-back wins at two of the longer races of the year would be a fitting season's end tribute to all of our partners."