Memorial Day weekend is 52 days away, but Dyson Racing didn't want to miss an opportunity to prepare for the upcoming Exxon World Sports Car Championship race at Lime Rock Park in northwestern Connecticut.
Butch Leitzinger, the designated championship driver for Dyson Racing, conducted a four-hour test session on the 1.54 mile circuit. Lime Rock will host the ATCALL Presents The Dodge Dealers Grand Prix -- fifth stop in IMSA's WSC schedule -- May 24-27 1996. The World Sports Cars will run in a 1 hour 45 minute race on Monday of Memorial Day weekend.
"We were basically looking to get a baseline set-up, so that when we come up here forthe race we can be pretty close to to it " Leitzinger said. "It's cooler thanit will be for the race, so the set-up will change a little bit, but we can get it so we can roll it off the trauck and be in a pretty good spot. This has been very beneficial. We've learned some things about the chassis".
Despite the cool temperatures Leitzinger produced some sizzling times in Dyson's Ford V8 powered R&S Mark III. Leitzinger was consistently in the low 49 second range, and ran one lap at 48.6. The WSC lap record at Lime Rock is 48.834 set last year by Wayne Taylor in a Ferrari 333SP.
"We were in the steady 49s with tires that were 90 miles old, which is much longer than we use them in a race. In the race its about 60 miles per set" Leitzinger said. "Then we slapped on a new set and were instantly in the 48s".
Dyson Racing, which is based in Poughkeepsie NY,will field two cars for the Lime Rock event. James Weaver,who won five races and finished second in the championship last year, and Leitzinger will be the lead drivers, with the possibility that team-owner Rob Dyson will also step into one of the cars.
Last season was Leitzinger's first in the open-cockpit World Sports Car class; he had five top-five finishes in nine starts, including four in the last six races. He co-drove with Weaver to victory at Watkins Glen. Leitzinger is also the defending NASCAR Busch North Grand National series race winner at Lime Rock.
For more information on the ATCALL Presents The Dodge Dealers Grand Prix and/or a free copy of the Lime Rock Park TRACK RECORD newspaper email to firstname.lastname@example.org
All typos are mine, with apologies