VOICES OF PETIT: BUTCH LEITZINGER No driver in the American Le Mans Series has as much prototype experience at Road Atlanta as Dyson Racing's Butch Leitzinger. Now in his 13th season with Dyson Racing, Leitzinger's first race in a prototype came...
VOICES OF PETIT: BUTCH LEITZINGER
No driver in the American Le Mans Series has as much prototype experience at Road Atlanta as Dyson Racing's Butch Leitzinger. Now in his 13th season with Dyson Racing, Leitzinger's first race in a prototype came at the Georgia track in 1995, and he was part of the field at the first Petit Le Mans in 1998. A two-time winner at the circuit, Leitzinger is eager for his first victory in the Series' cornerstone event. He gets a shot next week in Dyson Racing's No. 16 Porsche RS Spyder with Andy Wallace and Andy Lally.
"Road Atlanta is an amazing track. James Weaver once figured out that the amount of time you're full throttle at Road Atlanta is a much higher percentage than even at Le Mans. The elevation changes are like a roller coaster. Whenever you come into the pits during practice to talk to your engineer, it takes about 15-20 seconds just for you stop panting. It's not even from working but your pulse rate is so high because of the excitement."
A 1,000-mile sprint:
"It's a 1,000-mile endurance race but everyone runs it as a sprint race. From the cars hitting each other, running side by side, making ridiculous passes and with the four different classes there, it makes for excitement at every turn. It's about as much excitement as you can cram into 1,000 miles."
From then to now:
"It's amazing. Most of us went into it not knowing if it was going to catch on. But from the beginning it really clicked with a lot of people. The crowd was great the first year. The intangible is the vibe that you get there. From the beginning through now, you know it's a serious race and if you win it, it looks good on your resume. Every year from 1998 it has grown. Each year it takes you longer to get out of the park because there are so many fans enjoying the event. It's definitely one of the highlights of the season."