June 17, 2005 - Chris Dyson in the Thetford/Norcold Toyota Atlantic car qualified eighth today for tomorrow's Atlantic race at Portland International Raceway, the first race of a double header race weekend. Last year's Portland event was Dyson's...
June 17, 2005 - Chris Dyson in the Thetford/Norcold Toyota Atlantic car qualified eighth today for tomorrow's Atlantic race at Portland International Raceway, the first race of a double header race weekend. Last year's Portland event was Dyson's first Toyota Atlantic race. "The car is so much better than what we had here last year," commented Dyson. "It has better turn in with much better balance. This is the first time I have run in the rain here and we just got caught out with the weather in qualifying. We made a decision to go out on scuffed tires in the beginning of the session when it was damp. Than after eight laps or so, I figured it is dry enough, let's go to new tires, and than the rain started falling literally as we pulled out of the pits. It was hopelessly greasy out there, so we were not able to improve on our time. Having followed the cars in front of us, I think we have a good race car and am confident we will be competitive tomorrow."
The set up crystal ball will be in much demand this weekend as the weather forecast is for continued unsettled weather. It is a challenge for everybody. "It went from beautiful weather to rainy to clear again today," said Dyson. "So unless it is a full blown rain, you really have to go with a dry set up and compensate with your driving style and in-car roll bar changes."
This is the second Toyota Atlantic race of the year for the Thetford/Norcold squad, with a fourth place finish at Long Beach in April. The team travels to Cleveland next weekend for another Toyota Atlantic doubleheader. It is a busy time for the team with seven races in three weeks: last weekend at the Rolex Series Daytona Prototype race in Watkins Glen, Portland this weekend, Cleveland next, followed by the American Le Mans July 4th race weekend at Lime Rock. In addition, Chris will be joining Jeremy Shaw in the broadcast booth as commentator for the international feed of Sunday's Champ Car race. At least it will be dry in the booth.