Team Work MONTEREY, CA October 20, 2007 It has been said that the only way you would get a more disparate group together than you find on a typical race team is if you had a chain reaction accident on the freeway. And yet you put these widely ...
MONTEREY, CA October 20, 2007 It has been said that the only way you would get a more disparate group together than you find on a typical race team is if you had a chain reaction accident on the freeway. And yet you put these widely diverse people into a race team and they do amazing things. The Dyson race team developed their new Porsche RS Spyders in the midst of the twelve race, eight month long American Le - Mans Series that concluded today at Laguna Seca with the Monterey Sports Car Challenge. For 2007, the team won the IMSA Cup for highest scoring independent ALMS team; finished second in the LMP2 Team Championship; placed Butch Leitzinger and Andy Wallace third in the LMP2 Drivers Championship and garnered fourth place for Chris Dyson and Guy Smith, only four points behind their teammates. Butch Leitzinger led today's race and Guy Smith and Chris Dyson ran third in class during three separate stints of the four-hour race into darkness. The #16 car of Leitzinger and Wallace finished sixth in class after loosing part of the front nose and resultant downforce from coming together with Stefan Johansson in the #9 Acura. Explained Leitzinger, "Stefan and the Audi got in it pretty hard going up the front straight and it damaged Stefan's car quite a bit because he was starting to drop back. I got beside him going toward the bridge but than figured I wasn't far enough along to make the pass and got in behind him. I think he might have thought I was still there beside him and he braked very hard and with no where to go, I ran into the back of him."
The #20 Thetford/Norcold entry of Dyson and Smith finished fifth in class. "It had gotten quite cold at the end and we got some pick-up on the tires and the grip had fallen off," observed Dyson. "In clear running we were matching everyone out there. I lost some time in traffic unfortunately and that kept me from challenging the Penske cars at the end and really attacking the Aucuras. We unlocked a big amount of performance this weekend. Our hats off to Porsche for producing such an engineering marvel this year. We ran the whole season without a single mechanical DNF.
"But the true heroes of the season are the people of Dyson Racing. The hours they put in, the spirit they show race in and race out, and their perseverance are the cornerstones of our team. Their dedication makes our sport possible."
Rob Dyson on the 2007 Season:
"In several ways, this year was similar to what we went though last year with a new engine and new car. Understanding the dynamics of a new car and getting the techniques behind any race car is a challenge. The guys have done a great job of unlocking its secrets this year. We have tremendous support from Porsche that has helped us a lot. I would give us a B+ with a definite A+ for effort."
Highlights of the Year:
"We have had some good podiums this year. Detroit was terrific. If Chris had not had his transmission problem, we would have come home second and third, but we did get a podium for Butch and Andy. Petit Le Mans was a good job. Chris and Guy finished second in class and third overall. Butch had his wiring loom problem and lost eleven or twelve laps and that was the margin at the end of the race. Andy and Butch had podiums at Salt Lake and Long Beach and Long Beach was special with it being an all Porsche podium."
"We will be doing more testing than normal this off-season. We have to advance up the learning curve faster and sooner and the only way to do that is to run the cars. Next year will be the first time in three years that we will have the same car that we started the prior season with. We received the Porsches this year two weeks before the Sebring winter test and did not get a chance to test them again until four races into the season. We had a good test at Salt Lake prior to the race and that was a big help. We did not get a chance to really start digging into these cars until that break."
"I am optimistic about next year. It is going to be very tough, but I have every reason to believe that we will be racing with the same level of support from Porsche as this year, and I am looking forward to it. Hopefully at the end of the day we will be competing for class victories and going for overall race wins."
State of the Series:
"The ALMS continues to improve. The series is much more competitive with more solid teams and great drivers. They have done a good job of attracting the manufactures and they in turn have good teams running their efforts. The level of competition continues to get stronger. When you have racing where you have eight or ten cars capable of winning, that is tough as you are going to fin d in any race series."