Road America: Duncan Dayton race report

Dayton and Field Finish Second Sunday at Road America ELKHART LAKE, Wis., Aug. 22 - Duncan Dayton was back with Jon Field for the Road America 500 presented by The Chicago Tribune Sunday at Road America, and the pair finished second in the ...

Dayton and Field Finish Second Sunday at Road America

ELKHART LAKE, Wis., Aug. 22 - Duncan Dayton was back with Jon Field for the Road America 500 presented by The Chicago Tribune Sunday at Road America, and the pair finished second in the American Le Mans Series event.

The race was broadcast live on SPEED.

Sharing the Intersport Racing Lola B162 Judd No. 37, they finished one lap behind JJ Lehto and Marco Werner's ADT Champion Audi R8 in the 80-lap contest.

The No. 37 is sponsored by Marquis Financial Services, Goodyear, Highcroft Racing, Center Staging and Roulabtte.com.

Field, of Dublin, Ohio, started the two-hour-and-45-minute race and there were fireworks almost immediately, as he unintentionally bumped into the back of the eventual winner and caused him to spin during the always-hectic start.

Field moved into second by passing Chris Dyson 14 minutes into the race in turn five. Butch Leitzinger was leading in the other Dyson entry at the time.

Field spun in turn five 5 minutes later but quickly regrouped to press on.

Field turned the car over to Dayton, of North Salem, N.Y., 47 minutes into the contest when the team made its first pit stop for fuel. Lehto took over the lead from Leitzinger after that round of pit stops and was never again headed, and Dayton was still firmly in second place at the one-hour mark.

Both Dyson entries eventually dropped out with engine problems, so Dayton's job was to keep running as consistently as possible and have no incidents. He pitted for fresh Goodyears and fuel an hour and a half into the event and stayed in the car until he pitted again with 39 minutes left to let Field bring it home the rest of the way.

The Corvette of Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta finished third and won the GTS class, making Dayton and and Field the only Americans among the overall podium finishers in this international event. Lehto is from Finland and Werner is from Switzerland, while Gavin is from Great Britain and Beretta is from Monaco.

"Jon had a great opening stint, running as high as second," Dayton said while waiting for the victory lane celebration to begin. "He was consistently running with JJ and the Dyson cars. He had a little contact with JJ at the start, but the car was OK.

"When I got in the car I just tried to drive consistent laps. The car was easy to drive today, and basically we were just cruising along. We were a lap down to the Audi and we knew we couldn't catch it, so we just concentrated on finishing.

"Gunnar [Jeannette] put me off once in the kink; I guess he just didn't see me. That was pretty scary. But that was the only incident I had.

"The track was pretty greasy in five, and also on the last turn coming onto the frontstretch. The Saleen went off and dragged some stones onto the track, so it was slippery there.

"The water temperature kept climbing up; we don't know why. We had to keep short-shifting to keep it cool.

"We are happy with second."

The next race is the prestigious Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga. Sept. 22-25, which will also be broadcast live on SPEED.

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

-dd/lm-

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Series ALMS
Drivers Duncan Dayton , Butch Leitzinger , Jon Field , Oliver Gavin , Marco Werner , Olivier Beretta , Chris Dyson , JJ Lehto
Teams HART