Road America: Dayton qualifying report

Dayton and Field to start fourth overall and second in LMP 675 tomorrow at Road America. ELKHART LAKE, Wis., Aug. 23 - James Weaver may have qualified second overall and first in the LMP 675 class Saturday at Road America for tomorrow's ...

Dayton and Field to start fourth overall and second in LMP 675 tomorrow at Road America.

ELKHART LAKE, Wis., Aug. 23 - James Weaver may have qualified second overall and first in the LMP 675 class Saturday at Road America for tomorrow's Road America 500 American Le Mans Series (AMLS) race, but when the green flag waves tomorrow at 1 p.m. local time he'll have the Intersport Lola of Duncan Dayton and Jon Field right on his rear and applying pressure.

What's more, both Dayton, of North Salem, N.Y., and Field, of Dublin, Ohio, will be trying to keep that pressure up for two hours and 45 minutes and make their way to the front in the 37-car field.

Field qualified fourth overall and second in the LMP 675 class Saturday with a lap in 1:53.471.

Two LMP 900 Audis are in the first and third qualifying spots overall while Weaver's team car of Chris Dyson and Andy Wallace qualified fifth overall and third in LMP 675. Dyson currently leads the LMP 675 drivers' points standings but Dayton and Field are tied for second place right behind him going into tomorrow's race, and jointly held the point lead before their Lola had electrical problems at the last event.

Dayton had everybody buzzing when he was second overall and first in LMP 675 in testing here Friday, reeling off a lap in 1:55.374 at almost the last minute. His fastest lap in the session was his 16th of the 17 he turned in the Lola EX257/AER #37, which is sponsored by Banana Joe's, Highcroft Racing and Goodyear.

The team was second in LMP 675 and fourth overall in the first practice session Saturday with a 1:56.827.

The team had some problems in the second practice session on Saturday, which was right before qualifying. The car ended up seventh overall and third in LMP 675 with a 1:58.238 after both Dayton and Field had off-track excursions in that session

Dayton's was a simple on-and-off spin in turn 17. "No tow truck; just a lot of gravel everywhere," was the way Dayton described it.

A Porsche spun in front of Field a little later in the same turn which resulted in some damage to the front of the #37. The Intersport team simply put a new nose on the car they affectionately call "the Junkyard Dog" however, quickly regrouped and got ready for quals.

"Tomorrow our main objective is to just try to get points," Dayton emphasized after qualifying. "We have to keep in the hunt. If we finish third or better in our class in every race we'll be OK, but anything can happen."

The team is leasing this car from Hugh Chamberlain, who ran the MG factory team at Le Mans in 2002, since their regular Lola is being repaired after a nasty crash a few weeks ago at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. Chamberlain is on hand here in the Intersport pits at Road America.

Dayton and Field won their class with this car at Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, but had electrical problems at Mosport. Those electrical problems have continued on and off here so far this weekend, and are based with the car's "starternator," which is an alternator and a starter in the same housing.

They plan to use Chamberlain's car at Laguna Seca, Calif. on Sept. 7 and Miami Sept. 27 in addition to this weekend at Road America, and hope to have their own Lola repaired in time for the season finale at Road Atlanta Oct. 18.

Tomorrow's race will be broadcast live beginning at 2 p.m. Eastern time on SPEED Channel.

For more information see www.americanlemans.com, www.intersportracing.com and www.restartcommunications.com.

-lm-

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Andy Wallace , Duncan Dayton , James Weaver , Jon Field , Chris Dyson
Teams HART