Co-LMP 675 Point Leader Dayton to compete in the Toronto Grand Prix of Mosport Sunday NORTH SALEM, N.Y., Aug. 15 - Despite the largest blackout in U.S. history on Thursday, Duncan Dayton is still planning to compete in the Toronto Grand Prix of...
Co-LMP 675 Point Leader Dayton to compete in the Toronto Grand Prix of Mosport Sunday
NORTH SALEM, N.Y., Aug. 15 - Despite the largest blackout in U.S. history on Thursday, Duncan Dayton is still planning to compete in the Toronto Grand Prix of Mosport at Mosport International Raceway in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada on Sunday.
The race is scheduled to be broadcast live on NBC from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern time.
According to www.americanlemans.com, practice began early Friday afternoon at the track shortly after power was restored to the region, and all systems are "go."
Like millions of other people, on Friday morning Dayton was being as patient and flexible as possible as power returns to the Northeast and the parts of Canada that were affected.
The popular driver from North Salem, N.Y. returned from a trip to the Netherlands on Thursday afternoon right before the power went out. Although he luckily escaped being stranded at an airport then, the flight he was scheduled to be on Friday morning to Canada has been delayed until this afternoon, when he'll try again.
Cell phone service has been disrupted too and he hasn't been able to contact his teammate, Jon Field, or Field's son, Clint.
"I think the car is still in transit because I know the transporter hasn't made it to the track yet," Dayton said. "I don't know exactly what's going on there yet. They might be stuck somewhere waiting for fuel. There are lines at lots of gas stations as people wait for the power to come back on at the pumps so they can get fuel. But I don't know if that's really the case or not since I haven't been able to get in touch with them yet. Hopefully they're on their way."
After the challenges Dayton, Field and the rest of the Intersport Racing team overcame in the last few weeks, a little delay is more of a footnote to the story than a problem.
Dayton was involved in an unavoidable crash during practice at the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) race at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., on July 26, suffering a bruised foot and seriously damaging the Intersport Racing Lola #37, which is sponsored by Banana Joe's and Highcroft Racing.
With the next race only a week away, another car was leased from Hugh Chamberlain in England and flown to Canada for an event in Trois-Rivieres, Quebec on Aug. 3. Affectionately nicknamed "The Junkyard Dog" because of its varied paint job, Dayton and Field took the car from last place on the grid to victory in the LMP 675 class at Trois-Rivieres, regaining the point lead they jointly hold in the drivers' standings for that class.
Dayton said that the Intersport car that was damaged at Sonoma is still in the process of being repaired, and the team will probably use the leased car "up until the Petit Le Mans" at Road Atlanta Motor Sports Park in October, when their repaired car will be back in action.
"I guess this weekend it'll be 'The Return of the Junkyard Dog' or so mething," he said with a smile.
Dayton is really looking forward to competing on the 2.459-mile Mosport course this weekend.
"It's the first track I raced on after I got out of driving school," he recalled. "It was a Formula B car. I started on the pole for the first race and finished second."
Dayton also has had some impressive coaching at this facility.
"About 15 years ago I worked with Brian Redman at Mosport," he said. "We did lap after lap until I learned how to take turn two flat out."
"I've won there a couple of times since, and I really like the place," he added. "I haven't been there in about five years though."
Dayton said he might also drive one of the STRANA trucks at Mosport this weekend, but more likely he'll try his hand at that next weekend at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis.
"It's going to be a whole new perspective, sitting 8 feet up in the air," he noted. "It could be a whole new career!"
This weekend's tentative schedule has qualifying for the LMP 675 class from 3:05 p.m. to 3:25 p.m. tomorrow. Sunday's two-hour, 45-minute race will begin at 1:30 p.m.
For more information, see www.americanlemans.com; www.intersportracing.com; www.restartcommunications.com and www.stranaracing.com.