Guy Smith took the ...
Guy Smith took the #16 Castrol Mazda Lola to its second pole of the year at the thirteenth annual Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda2. Three tenths of a second separated the top-three LMP2 qualifiers for the thousand- mile season-ending race for the American Le Mans Series. It was the second LMP2 pole in a row for Dyson Racing here at Road Atlanta, the birthplace of the ALMS.
Smith took the overall pole at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca's six-hour endurance race in May. As he did at Mazda Raceway and the 12 Hours of Sebring, Andy Meyrick joins Chris Dyson and Smith in the #16 Dunlop-shod entry this weekend. "This qualifying shows the progress we have made," said Smith. "Andy Meyrick got in the car this weekend and the first thing he commented on was how much the car has improved."
"The engineers did a great job for qualifying. We thought we could get pole position, but knew it was going to be close. It was an exciting qualifying session and it bodes well for tomorrow. The race is going to be your normal ten-hour endurance race here - it is going to be a battle all the way through. We feel confident we can do well and it would be Click For More great to end the season on a high."
Dyson Racing won the LMP2 class here last year, making Mazda the first Japanese manufacturer to have won both the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Petit Le Mans. The #16 entry of Chris Dyson and Guy Smith actually finished nine laps ahead of their winning sister car last year, but ran unclassified as they were running BP IsoButanol for the fist time. The series subsequently approved the use of IsoButanol and the team has been successfully running the biofuel this season.
"This has been the most competitive year in the ALMS," noted Dyson. "We enter the last race of the season with all championships up for grabs in all four classes. We have numerous Mazda and Castrol guests here this weekend. We gave them something to cheer about today and will work to do the same tomorrow."