By Patrick Jennings - Motorsport.com Watkins Glen, NY - For the second consecutive weekend, the Dyson Racing combination of James Weaver and Butch Leitzinger blew away the competition in the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series en-route ...
By Patrick Jennings - Motorsport.com
Watkins Glen, NY - For the second consecutive weekend, the Dyson Racing combination of James Weaver and Butch Leitzinger blew away the competition in the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series en-route to winning the Bully Hill 250 at Watkins Glen International. Weaver, the 2000 Grand-Am champion, passed pole-sitter Mauro Baldi in the #27 Doran Racing Judd-powered Ferrari at the drop of the green flag and never looked back. The win marks the duo's fourth victory of the season and virtually assures Weaver of his second Grand-Am driver's title.
"I love racing at Watkins Glen," exclaimed Weaver. "The car's been flying all weekend. It was a little bit tricky because we don't usually race on the short course. We had a great set up on the car and the lads did a stunning pit stop in the middle of the race on one of the yellows; and got me out in the lead under the yellow, which was spectacular. The engine was going like a train."
The only car capable of challenging the #16 Dyson car this evening was the #27 car of Baldi and Didier Theys. But they lost a great deal of time in the early part of the race after contact with the #81 Porsche GT3-R in Turn-15 on lap five. "We didn't touch very hard, but his wheel hit the nose of my car," explained Baldi. Four laps later, Baldi pitted to repair the damage to the left front of his car. Although the Doran Racing crew was able to fix the damage, the #27 car was never able to make up the time it lost in the pits. As a result, Baldi and Theys finished second, one lap down to the #16 car. Oliver Gavin and Jon Field took advantage of the problems that struck the rest of the SRP field to post a third place finish in the #37 Intersport Racing Lola-Judd.
The #74 Robinson Racing Riley & Scott - Judd of Jack Baldwin and George Robinson was sidelined with gearbox problems on lap 27. Eight laps later, the #74 car returned to the race, only to suffer an alternator belt problem on lap 65. Similarly, the #20 Dyson racing entry of Elliot Forbes Robinson, Rob Dyson, and Chris Dyson coasted into the pits on lap 83 with a faulty ignition system.
The Archangel Motorsports Nissan Lola entry of Ben Devlin and David Sterenberg claimed the SRPII class victory over the Porschehaus Racing Nissan Lola of Robert Julien and Bruno St. Jaques. While the second Archangel car of Andy Lally and Jeff Tillman finished third in SRPII.
Chris Bingham and Ron Johnson won the GTS class in their Fordahl/Park Place Saleen S7R, and the G&W Motorsports Porsche 911 GT2 of Cort Wagner and Steve Marshall finished second; four laps behind the mighty Saleen.
In the GT class, the #45 Porsche 911 GT3-R of John Andretti and Kyle Petty captured the victory after Grand-Am officials handed a ten-second penalty to the #34 Porsche 911 GT3-R of Steve Ivankovich and Spencer Pumpelly for contact with the #45 car in the closing laps of the race. Another Orbit Racing Porsche driven by Richard Millman and Tommy Byrne finished third in class. The #15 Porsche of Randy Pobst and Kim Hiskey led the first 43 laps of the race until it hit the foam wall in Turn-1 on lap 44. The car retired five laps later.
Jacke Willes claimed the victory in the American GT class in his Comer Racing Corvette.
The Rolex Sports Car Series has one race left at Daytona International Speedway on September 16.
This evening's Grand-Am race featured the Rolex Series debut of 23-year-old Chris Dyson, the son of Dyson Racing Team owner Rob Dyson. The younger Dyson shared the #20 Ford-powered Riley & Scott with his father and 1999 American Le Mans Series champion Elliot Forbes Robinson. Prior to tonight's race, Chris Dyson spent the last two years racing in SCCA national and pro-level racing.
On an altogether different note, Winston Cup veterans John Andretti and Kyle Petty qualified the Orbit Racing Porsche 911 GT3-R in second place in the GT class for tonight's race. Neither driver, however, is a stranger to sports car racing. In 1989, Andretti won the 24 Hours of Daytona with Derek Bell and the late Bob Wollek in a Jim Busby-prepared Porsche 962C. While Petty drove an Orbit Porsche in this year's 24 Hours of Daytona.