Dyson Sweeps Third Straight In IMSA Finale At Daytona
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 8) -- An unprecedented fourth consecutive International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) victory is within reach at the 1997 Rolex 24 At Daytona for Dyson Racing after it captured the rain-washed three-hour IMSA Finale At Daytona Oct. 6 at Daytona International Speedway.
Polesitter Butch Leitzinger of State College, Pa., teamed with John Paul Jr. of West Palm Beach, Fla., in Rob Dyson's Rain-X Ford R&S Mk. 3 and defeated 55 other starters in conditions that ranged from dry to pouring rain. Paul celebrated the 15th anniversary of his victory in the 1981 IMSA Finale after the pair averaged 100.500 mph and won the third straight Exxon World SportsCar Championship event for Dyson Racing.
Belgian Didier Theys had to make a late fuel stop and finished second, 29 seconds behind, in the Landshark/Lista Ferrari 333 SP. South African Wayne Taylor, from nearby Altamonte Springs, Fla., won his second WSC championship. His car broke early but he joined teammate Jim Pace to finish third in the second Danka/Konica Oldsmobile R&S Mk. 3. That finish gave Olds the WSC manufacturers' title over Ferrari, based on the tiebreaker of more race wins (4-3) for Olds.
"When they announced the finale was coming to Daytona I recalled that we once used this race to test for the (Rolex) 24," said Dyson, who was sixth with England's Andy Wallace. "We saw as many different conditions as we're used to in the 24-hours."
Dyson will get an opportunity to improve his best Rolex 24 finish as a team owner/driver -- third in 1987 -- in the 35th event Feb. 1-2.
In Exxon Supreme GTS-2, Costa Rican Javier Quiros came from third place to first in the final laps to win the manufacturers' title for BMW. Larry Schumacher of Cincinnati, Ohio, finished second in a Porsche and won the drivers' championship.
Stu Hayner and Roger Schramm scored a victory for the independents when they captured GTS-1 honors in their Chevrolet Camaro. Irv Hoerr and Oldsmobile had already clinched the drivers' and manufacturers' titles, respectively.
Andy Pilgrim of Cooper City, Fla., and Doug Goad of Farmington Hills, Mich., won the IMSA Endurance Championship (EC) finale in a Pontiac Firebird; and David Daughtery of Noblesville, Ind., won the 45-minute EC "Shoot-out" in a Nissan 240SX.
For tickets to the Feb. 1-2 Rolex 24 At Daytona call 904-253-7223.
For information on Rolex 24 weekend, Jan. 30 - Feb. 2, call 904-947-6782 or by e-mail: (email@example.com).