Road Atlanta II: Goodyear preview

History, Goodyear tires on Dyson's side at Road Atlanta ATLANTA, Ga, (Oct. 14, 2003) -- Chris Dyson is trying to become the third Goodyear-equipped driver in as many years to capture the LMP 675 class driving championship in the American Le Mans...

History, Goodyear tires on Dyson's side at Road Atlanta

ATLANTA, Ga, (Oct. 14, 2003) -- Chris Dyson is trying to become the third Goodyear-equipped driver in as many years to capture the LMP 675 class driving championship in the American Le Mans Series.

Dyson, 25, leads the standings as the teams head into the season finale, the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta Oct. 18. The Petit Le Mans is a 10-hour or 1,000 mile test of some of the finest road racing equipment in the world.

Goodyear has already clinched the tire manufacturer championship in the LMP 675 class and leads in the GTS class. Dyson credited much of his team's success this year to Goodyear's developmental process.

"The current generation of Goodyear tires not only has excellent grip, they are brilliant on wear," Dyson said. "We've found that from start, as the fuel load gets lighter, the grip gets better."

The long wear characteristic is partially a product of Goodyear's Dynamically Tuned Solution technology. The DTS technology, implemented in tires built for both the LMP 675 and GTS classes, allows the tire to distribute loading more evenly across the entire footprint or contact patch.

Dyson, 25, is the son of team owner Rob Dyson. He will drive one of the team's two MG-powered Lolas and can clinch the class driver's title by finishing 70 percent of the race at Road Atlanta.

The LMP 675 class is for prototype racecars. They are smaller, lighter and slightly less powerful than the prototype cars in the LMP 900 class. Earlier this season, the Dyson team became the first to take an LMP 675 class car to overall victory in an ALMS race.

The younger Dyson said his team feels it has a chance to pull off another overall win at Road Atlanta. "We think we have a pretty good chance," he said. "We were on the pole there in June. We think if the car is reliable, the circuit should fit us. I'm quite confident in our chances."

Teams racing on Goodyear tires have a history of success at Road Atlanta. Last year, Goodyear-shod teams won both the LMP 675 and GTS classes and clinched the class championships at the track. Didier de Radigues, who won the LMP 675 title on Goodyear tires in 2001, will co-drive a Dyson car in the Petit Le Mans.

The 2002 class champion, Jon Field, is among the drivers chasing Dyson for this year's championship. Field's Intersport Racing team also competes on Goodyear tires.

Goodyear tires have been a part of Dyson Racing for decades, beginning in Sports Car Club of America competition. The combination has been a winner of races and championships.

"It will be very special," Chris Dyson said of the championship possibilities. "This year, the tables are turned and we've been leading most of the year. I get to do the fun job, but really it's a championship for the team. That's the way it has always been at Dyson Racing... We've won championships. It's a familiar road we're traveling. It's a roll up your sleeves, professional attitude."

The same goes for Goodyear. The company will bring 1,400 tires to the event. Unlike some tire companies, Goodyear makes its tires available to any competitor that notifies the company of its interest.

"If a team calls us, we'll bring what they need," said Bob Shaffer, Goodyear's marketing manager for sports car racing. "We're in the market place to sell tires."

NOTES:

Didier de Radigues and Chad Block will co-drive with Dyson in their Lola number 20. James Weaver, Butch Leitzinger and Andy Wallace will co-drive the number 16 Dyson team car--de Radigues, Block and Chris Dyson won the LMP 675 class in the season opener at Sebring this year--Weaver set Road Atlanta's LMP 675 class qualifying record before the 2002 Petit Le Mans.

NUMBER OF TIRES SUPPLIED: 1,400

TIRES: Goodyear Eagle Sports Car Radials

ESTIMATED PIT WINDOW: 50-75 minutes, depending upon fuel (differs for each class).

TELEVISION: Live on SPEED Channel.
Oct. 18: 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., ET
Oct. 18: 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., ET
Oct. 18: 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., ET

DID YOU KNOW? Goodyear has clinched the tire manufacturers championship in the LMP 675 class and leads the GTS class by 11 points. A Goodyear driver will probably win the LMP 675 championship for the third straight season. Corvette Racing's Ron Fellows and Johnny O'Connell, who race exclusively on Goodyear tires, have clinched the GTS driving title. It is the second straight title for Fellows.

GOODYEAR QUOTE: Bob Shaffer, marketing manager, sports car racing - "We are very optimistic about our chances to win our second overall victory of the season. We won with Dyson earlier this year. Historically this has been a good track for Goodyear teams. The emergence this season of both the Dyson and Field LMP 675 teams as consistent contenders gives Goodyear an excellent chance. We are also very confident about our chances for victory in the GTS class with the Corvette team, since we've won this race together the last two years.

GOODYEAR TIRE NOTE: Dyson Racing driver James Weaver holds the track qualifying record for this race in the LMP 675 class and Corvette Racing's Ron Fellows has the record in the GTS class. Both records were set on Goodyear tires.

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Andy Wallace , Didier de Radigues , Butch Leitzinger , James Weaver , Ron Fellows , Johnny O'Connell , Rob Dyson , Chad Block , Jon Field , Chris Dyson
Teams Corvette Racing , Dyson Racing