Some Fireworks, No Grand Finale LAKEVILLE, CT July 1, 2006 - Chris Dyson moved from the back of the grid to third overall in eight minutes in the fourth round of the American Le Mans Series today at Lime Rock Park. It was a scintillating ...
Some Fireworks, No Grand Finale
LAKEVILLE, CT July 1, 2006 - Chris Dyson moved from the back of the grid to third overall in eight minutes in the fourth round of the American Le Mans Series today at Lime Rock Park. It was a scintillating performance at Dyson's home track that reflected the stellar progress the team has made with its potent new Lola / AER V8 LMP1 machine. Unfortunately, it was to be a short-lived day as the #20 Thetford/Norcold car's race ended seven minutes later when Dyson and Oliver Beretta came together in the right hand turn leading onto the back straight. "Oliver Beretta is one of the best in the business," said Dyson. "This was one of those racing incidents that can happen when you are moving through the field like we were. I had just turned my fastest lap and was running on momentum. I thought he was giving me the corner but then he turned in after I had committed. It's a shame because the car was blinding around here."
The accident shifted the steering rack. The crew repositioned it, but Dyson came in after a lap saying it was not right. The crew machined new parts to help secure it, but it was not repairable and the car was retired.
James Weaver started the #16 car, but when the flag fell, so did the clutch pedal. "I couldn't get the car into gear and it stalled instantly," said Weaver. "It was a dead clutch pedal - it just went down to the floor." The car was pushed back to the garage area where the throw-out bearing was replaced. An hour into the race, the repaired car rejoined the competition, fifty- four laps down. But Weaver and Butch Leitzinger combined consistent fast laps with race attrition and were the third LMP1 car to cross the finish line. But there is a rule standard to most race series that says you must finish 70% of the race distance to qualify for points. Unfortunately, the hard work of Weaver and Leitzinger was not rewarded as the #16 car covered 68.9% of the needed laps. On the radio after the race, Rob Dyson commented, "There will be better days, guys."
Chris Dyson was philosophical. "Yesterday, James said after qualifying that the car was the best it has been this year," he said. "The results may not show it this weekend, but we are really seeing the potential of this car. It's early days, and after four races, we are exploring its core performance level. We still have the majority of the season ahead of us and the Dyson team is known for its persistence and determination."