DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Aug. 14, 2001) -- Dyson Racing's hopes of winning February's Rolex 24 At Daytona went up in smoke when the engine expired on the No. 16 Ford Riley & Scott in the closing hours of the sportscar endurance race. In the Sept.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Aug. 14, 2001) -- Dyson Racing's hopes of winning February's Rolex 24 At Daytona went up in smoke when the engine expired on the No. 16 Ford Riley & Scott in the closing hours of the sportscar endurance race.
In the Sept. 14-16 Grand-Am Finale at Daytona International Speedway, Dyson Racing, which fields both the No. 16 and No. 20 Ford Riley & Scott's, will get a second opportunity at Daytona glory this year.
The No. 16 team of Englishman James Weaver and Butch Leitzinger of State College, Pa., will be entering the Grand-Am Finale on a high note, capturing last weekend's Bully Hill Vineyards 250 at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International.
Weaver will more than likely lock up his second straight driver's championship in the SportsRacer Prototype class in the Grand-Am Finale. He leads Leitzinger by 13 points entering the three-hour season finale enduro on Sunday, Sept. 16 at noon. In order to secure the title, all Weaver has to do is complete one lap. In addition, the No. 16 team will look to secure the team championship in SportsRacer Prototype class.
"Well, I'd love to (celebrate) because Daytona is almost like a home track to us," Weaver said. "It's the biggest road race in America as far as sports cars and it's always the one you want to do well at whether it's the Rolex 24 At Daytona or a sprint."
Leitzinger, a two-time Rolex 24 At Daytona winner, is looking forward to the second crack at the "World Center of Racing." He was driving the No. 16 Dyson Racing Riley & Scott when the engine failed in this year's Rolex 24.
"Daytona is such a wonderful place and it's such a shrine to racing and everyone wants to get there as often as they can," Leitzinger said. "It's nice to have another crack at it, especially with the luck that we had at the last race. Maybe we can try to atone for a little bit of that with a good result at the end of the year."
Said team owner/driver Rob Dyson: "The next race at Daytona will be more of a sprint race than an endurance race like the Rolex 24. The engines will be more upgraded or hotter, and the pace should be a little harder. The fans are going to see what they have seen all season: good, hard, wheel-to-wheel sports car racing. The fact that it's at Daytona makes it more special.
"The biggest thing to winning the finale at Daytona is the execution in the pits. The preparation of the car is important too, as well as a little luck. But, the execution in the pits is the key."
Tickets can be purchased for the Grand-Am Finale by calling the Speedway ticket office at (386) 253-7223.