It was the battle of the race and the battle of the season to date: Butch Leitzinger in the #20 BP Mazda Lola and Adrian Fernandez in the Lowe’s Acura in today’s American Le Mans Utah Grand Prix. Forty-five minutes from the end, Butch was first in LMP2. He was pushing hard to open up a big enough gap to Fernandez to allow for a quick splash and go.
He stopped twenty minutes later and he came out of the pits with Fernandez in site. Leitzinger chased him down, the gap closing each lap. At the end, he was sixth tenths back, finishing second in class. It was racing drama at its best.
Dyson Racing held the class lead for the majority of the 103 lap race. Marino Franchitti started the #20 car, drove the first two stints and led forty-eight laps. Chris Dyson started the #16 Mazda-powered entry and led his opening laps, opening up a half-minute gap to the Lowe’s entry by lap seventeen. Dyson and Guy Smith finished third in class and sixth overall after Smith had to come in for extra pits stop to diagnose and fix an electrical problem half way through the race.
“The team did a fantastic job bringing the car up to speed this weekend,” commented Leitzinger. “Every weekend we show how much Mazda is coming on. You have to say that on an open lap, both cars were very close, so it was going to be d own to traffic. The BP team can hold its head high.”
“This was a very hard fought race from beginning to end,” said Dyson. “We had the pace all weekend and our four drivers did an excellent job. We are well positioned for the second half of the season and look forward to our home race at Lime Rock Park.”
Dyson Racing congratulates Michelin on their 100th win. “We double stinted Marino’s tires today and the car was as fast after fifty laps as at the beginning,” noted Rob Dyson. ”We could not ask for a better partner than Michelin. We wish them an even quicker next 100 wins.”
The ALMS series takes a break before its next race at Lime Rock on July 18th. In the interim, three Dyson drivers will be participating in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Chris Dyson will drive the RML LMP2 Mazda Lola Coupe in the June 13th and 14th classic sports car race, while Guy Smith will be in the LMP1 Team LNT Ginetta Zytek and Marino Franchitti will be racing the GT2 Drayson Racing Aston Martin Vantage.