Dayton and Field are borrowing car for this weekend's Grand Prix of Trois-Rivieres NORTH SALEM, N.Y., July 31 - Duncan Dayton, Jon Field and the rest of the Intersport Racing team are firm believers in the old slogan, "Where there's a will, ...
Dayton and Field are borrowing car for this weekend's Grand Prix of Trois-Rivieres
NORTH SALEM, N.Y., July 31 - Duncan Dayton, Jon Field and the rest of the Intersport Racing team are firm believers in the old slogan, "Where there's a will, there's a way."
Even though Dayton was injured and the Lola he was driving was damaged extensively in an unavoidable crash last Saturday at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., the team still hopes to compete in the LMP 675 class at this weekend's Grand Prix of Trois-Rivieres in Quebec, Canada.
The team will lease another car from England's Hugh Chamberlain of Chamberlain Motorsports in order to compete in Sunday's race. Chamberlain ran the factory MG effort at Le Mans last year.
"We're committed to doing whatever it takes to get back in the championship hunt," said Dayton, of North Salem, N.Y.
Dayton and Field have been tied for the lead in the LMP 675 drivers' championship all year, but slipped to second behind Chris Dyson, 55 points to 42, when they weren't able to start Sunday's race in California.
The borrowed car left England on Wednesday and is expected to arrive in Canada Thursday afternoon.
"The Intersport mechanics plan to do an all-nighter on Thursday and we're going to try to be ready to practice on Friday," Dayton added.
Three of Chamberlain's employees will also make the trip from England to help the Intersport team prepare the car for this weekend's action.
The Intersport team will use its own engines at Trois-Rivieres.
These arrangements are the culmination of a flurry of trans-continental telephone calls and preparations that started on Saturday almost as soon as the tow-truck crew brought the damaged car back to the Intersport team's spot in the garage area.
"We still think we can fix our car, but there was no way we could have repaired it and had it in Canada by this weekend," Dayton explained.
"We have the use of this car for as long as we need it," he added.
Last weekend's crash occurred when Dayton crested a hill on Infineon's twisty road course and came upon a Porsche which had spun to a stop directly in front of him. With no run-off areas Dayton had nowhere to go, and the impact was severe. Although both drivers walked away, Dayton suffered a bad bruise to his right foot in the accident.
"My foot is feeling a bit better, but it's still really sore," he said Wednesday evening. "I'm walking on it now, and pushing through the pain reminds me of being a hockey goalie in college!"
He's trying to put both the pain and the memory of Saturday's accident behind him.
Dayton has previous experience at Trois-Rivieres, which should help him this weekend. He drove a Formula 2000 car here in the early nineties.
Although the last two ALMS races have been two hours and 45 minutes long and were run on circuits that are 2.53 miles in length, Sunday's race is scheduled for three hours and this circuit is a 1.5-mile temporary street course laid out on the city streets of Trois-Rivieres, located between Montreal and Quebec City.
"It will change all the calculations, and lots of teams may have to have a splash-and-go pit stop for fuel at the end of the race," Dayton noted. "It will be interesting to see how the fuel mileage, the yellow flags and the race strategies all play out."
The four classes of American Le Mans Series cars will be on the track for two hours of testing from 11:35 a.m. until 1:35 p.m. on Friday, with official practice set for Saturday. Qualifying is scheduled for 4:15 p.m. Saturday with the race to begin at 2:45 p.m. Sunday.
After this weekend the series travels to Mosport International Raceway near Toronto Aug. 15-17 and Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis. Aug. 22-24.