Weaver Takes 7th Lime Rock Pole Dyson Racing's Thetford / Norcold Lolas Start 1st & 3rd LIME ROCK, CT, July 3, 2004 - James Weaver credited a good basic chassis setup on his Dyson Racing Thetford / Norcold Lola and excellent tires from...
Weaver Takes 7th Lime Rock Pole
Dyson Racing's Thetford / Norcold Lolas Start 1st & 3rd
LIME ROCK, CT, July 3, 2004 - James Weaver credited a good basic chassis setup on his Dyson Racing Thetford / Norcold Lola and excellent tires from Goodyear with winning the pole for Monday's New England Grand Prix at Connecticut's Lime Rock Park. Weaver edged the Audi R8 of JJ Lehto by a bare 0.172 seconds. The second Dyson Racing entry, driven by Chris Dyson and shared in the race with Andy Wallace, was third, less than half a second behind the two leaders.
"Because we have to start the race on the same tires we qualified on, I didn't want to be flailing around out there," said Weaver, who set his quick time early in the qualifying session. "I waited to see if the Audi could match the time, but he couldn't. If JJ had raised the bar, I think we could have responded."
It marked the seventh time in as many sportscar prototype races at Lime Rock that Weaver has captured the pole. He and teammate Butch Leitzinger have won the past three Lime Rock sportscar prototype races here aboard Dyson cars.
Chris Dyson posted a strong last minute effort to take third on the grid. "This was the first time I'd driven the car here on new tires and light fuel loads. I came in and the crew bled some air from the tires. That gave us better grip and particularly better traction coming out of the chicane.
"We've been focusing on race setup all weekend," Dyson continued. "I think we'll have a good racecar, but this is going to be the toughest race we'll have all season, mentally if not physically. Lime Rock is a very 'busy' track to begin with, let alone adding in the factor of having mixed classes with widely varying speeds."
Not that he intends to concede the lead to anyone else, but Weaver notes that dealing with lapped cars is generally easier if you're in second place and shadowing the race leader. "You can size up the situation as the leader comes up on traffic, and react accordingly. Of course sometimes he'll let the leader through and then shut the door on you, but that's a minor problem."
Team owner Rob Dyson identifies a third important factor beyond pure speed and the vagaries of traffic that will play a role in the outcome of Monday's race. "Pit stops could decide the outcome of the race on Monday. Lap times at Lime Rock are so short (50 second laps are the expected race pace) and the rules make refueling so slow, that if you stop during green flag conditions and the other guy gets a yellow, you'll lose a lap."
During the race a car that pits first under green flag conditions risks losing a lap until its competitor also pits on the green. If the yellow flag comes out before that, the first car has a big problem. But that factor may actually play to the Dyson team's advantage, as the Lola gets better fuel mileage than the Audi. "We do get a bit better fuel mileage than the Audi," Weaver noted. "So we should be pitting after they do."