Mid-Ohio: LMP1 class preview - Dyson spotlight

DYSON RETURNS TO SCENE OF HISTORIC 2005 FINISH Braselton, Ga. - Dyson Racing has seen a plethora of history in its 32-year life. What happened last year at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course ranks among the best. In last year's American Le Mans at ...

DYSON RETURNS TO SCENE OF HISTORIC 2005 FINISH

Braselton, Ga. - Dyson Racing has seen a plethora of history in its 32-year life. What happened last year at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course ranks among the best.

In last year's American Le Mans at Mid-Ohio, Dyson Racing posted its first 1-2 overall finish in American Le Mans Series competition. James Weaver and Butch Leitzinger drove home first in their AER-powered Lola and were closely followed by Andy Wallace and Chris Dyson.

Three-hundred sixty-four days later, the team will try for a repeat finish in Round Three of the 2006 Series schedule. Dyson Racing has two of its new AER-powered Lola B06/10s entered for the two-hour, 45-minute sprint race.

"Mid-Ohio is one of our favorite venues. It's a beautiful place to go racing," Weaver said. "It's a lovely place, like someone's private park. We've always done well there, and it is a joy to go.

"By the time we went to Mid-Ohio last year, we had the cars pretty much sorted out," Weaver said. "We felt like we would contend for the pole and the overall win in every race we went to."

The two Dyson cars battled it out with two Audi R8s and a factory Zytek in LMP1 for overall honors. In reminiscing, Leitzinger called it one of the best days he has ever had in sports car racing.

"It was such a furious battle between a lot of cars," he said. "It was one of those times that in the middle of the race, there were five of us all lined up and you were thinking, 'It doesn't get any better than this.'

"We had potential," he added. "There were many times we should have won races. We thought we might have been cursed. Thankfully the curse was lifted that day."

Like last year, there won't be any shortage in competition. Audi Sport North America won at Houston last week with its trusty Audi R8, and Autocon Motorsports has the same Lola that Wallace and Dyson drove to second place last year. There also are Penske Racing's two Porsche RS Spyders and Intersport Racing's Lola B05/40-AER, all three LMP2 entries that can challenge for the overall win.

The repaved surface at Mid-Ohio could play into Dyson Racing's hands. With the concrete patches now gone from the track, there likely will be more grip. The new, smoother surface will be a welcomed change for the car from Houston's Reliant Park street course.

"New cars inevitably take a long time to be sorted out," Weaver said. "We've seen the potential of the new Lola and think we are very close. We should do well again."

The American Le Mans at Mid-Ohio, the third round of the 2006 American Le Mans Series, is set for noon EDT on Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. It will be broadcast on CBS Sports at 1 p.m. EDT Sunday, the second of five straight races on the network. Qualifying is scheduled for 3:05 p.m. EDT on Saturday. American Le Mans Radio and IMSA Live Timing & Scoring will be available at www.americanlemans.com.

-alms-

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series ALMS

User photos

pkphotography

pkphotography

1 photos
MatheRacing

MatheRacing

10 photos
JLK

JLK

17 photos
jb_ecker

jb_ecker

1 photos
Rustyn90

Rustyn90

317 photos
pclracephoto

pclracephoto

67 photos
imtcory

imtcory

50 photos
Upload photo