Leitzinger & Weaver 3rd at Laguna Seca Engine Failure K.O.'s Dyson & Wallace in 4-Hour ALMS Finale MONTEREY, CA, October 16, 2004 - Rob Dyson summed up his team's fortunes at the American Le Mans Series 2004 season-ending Audi Sports Car ...
Leitzinger & Weaver 3rd at Laguna Seca
Engine Failure K.O.'s Dyson & Wallace in 4-Hour ALMS Finale
MONTEREY, CA, October 16, 2004 - Rob Dyson summed up his team's fortunes at the American Le Mans Series 2004 season-ending Audi Sports Car Championships at the Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca when he noted that this weekend "we were just slightly off the pace. Our pit stops were excellent; as good or better than all year. James (Weaver) did lead the race for a few laps, but overall we just weren't quite quick enough this weekend."
Fourth and fifth place qualifying spots suggested that the Dyson team's pair of Thetford / Norcold Lolas weren't going to win the race on pure speed this weekend. "We needed to have the race come back to us," said team driver Chris Dyson. "And it didn't happen. Hats off to the guys at Champion; their Audis were fast and reliable all weekend. They deserved to finish first and second. But I'm pleased that James and Butch (Leitzinger) were able to keep them honest all day."
And into the night, as well. Driving the last stint, when the challenge of the expected darkness was augmented with rain, Leitzinger drove some very fast laps. "Butch did a terrific job," Rob Dyson said. "He was really flying at the end."
Though two laps down on the pair of leading Audi R8s, Leitzinger's lap times were quicker on the slick track than the Audis'. Much to his surprise, Leitzinger admitted. "It's hard to believe, actually," he said, standing by the cockpit of the #16 Dyson Lola at the conclusion of the race. "But it's so hard to gauge in the wet. The visibility was very poor; the roostertails (from the cars ahead) were hanging in the air. It was very hard to see. It really wasn't very pleasant."
The team's #20 Thetford / Norcold Lola had a short day. Chris Dyson ran strongly at the beginning of the race, but two laps after turning the car over to teammate Andy Wallace the engine let go. "It just went bang," Wallace said. "I'm not sure what happened. Back in the garage they couldn't get the spark plug out of one of the cylinders, so that's not good. It's sad, really, because our engines have been quite reliable all year long."