ALMS Lime Rock
Dyson Dominates Podium At Lime Rock
Dyson Racing was taking no prisoners at its home stomping grounds; Salisbury, Connecticut’s Lime Rock Park. For the second year in a row Dyson’s #16 ModSpace Lola B12/66 Mazda LMP1 entry turned in a sizzling lap around the 1.5-mile course to earn the pole position for the American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix. Last year, the team won the pole and the race while leading 165 laps of the 187-lap race and the team was hoping for a repeat performance in 2012. The American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix was the second pole of the year for Dyson Racing’s AER-prepared Mazda MRZ engine and adds to the team’s Lime Rock poles of 2004 and 2006. The #20 car of Michael Marsal and Eric Lux qualified third in LMP1.
The race itself featured a slew of yellow flags that kept the battle close and highly intense. Chris Dyson started from pole and pitted from the lead an hour into the race to hand the car over to Guy Smith. Ten minutes later, Guy had to slowly motor back to the pits with a puncture, dropping the car down to fourth. Around the same time, the #20 car was hit in the rear and although the damage did not measurably affect the car’s speed, it did take its toll later in the race when two unscheduled stops to fix inoperative brake lights dropped the car down the overall running order.
Team owner Rob Dyson noted that, “Guy lost almost three laps with the puncture. It happened just as he went by the pits and he had to slow down to preserve the car and bring it back to the pits. It is one of those things. Our congratulations to Greg Pickett and his team. At the end of day, we have made a lot of progress and I think we have a good shot at taking it to them almost anywhere so we are locked and loaded. Hats off to everyone at AER who did a superb job giving us great engines.
“It was a tough race,” quipped Guy. “We got a break when the Muscle Milk car had their gearbox problems early in the race, but that advantage was mostly negated by the puncture, and then they were able to get a couple of wave-bys during the yellows that put them back on the same lap as us. Ultimately, we did not have the speed in the car that we had in qualifying. We have definitely turned the corner from Mazda Raceway but still have some work to do and will go on to Mosport, a track we have been consistently fast at in the past.”
Dyson Racing crowded the podium finishing second and third in LMP1. Chris Dyson and Guy Smith were second overall in the #16 ModSpace Mazda-powered Lola and Michael Marsal and Eric Lux finished third in class in their second race with Dyson Racing Lola/Mazda.
The series heads to Mosport for the fifth of 10 races on the ALMS season and Dyson Racing’s #16 is poised second place in P1, a handful of points off the lead, and the #20 is in a close third. Things will definitely be heating up in the meaty middle of the season.