It was something of a home win at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in qualifying for the third round of the American Le Mans Series with Dyson Racing's Mazda powered Lola coupe clinching pole position, Guy Smith lapping the 2.2mile circuit in 1:12.338.
“There is no better place to put a Mazda on pole than Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca,” said Smith's teammate Chris Dyson after the session.
“Guy is like the mailman, he always delivers,” quipped team owner Rob Dyson. “It is nice to see all the hard work of our team and the development work by our partners paying off. The Dunlop tires have been great here. Working with Dunlop is a two-way conversation and they are listening to us to help develop better tires.”
The lap put the team a comfortable seven-tenths faster than the Patron Highcroft Racing Acura that will start the six hour race alongside them on the front row. The team and car, in the blue and white ARCO livery, had already topped both of practice sessions, but saved their fastest lap of the weekend so far for qualifying.
The Porsche RS Sypder of Klaus Graf, Saascha Maassen and Memo Gidley (the latter apparently deputising for team owner Greg Pickett) was third in the ALMS' prototype class which combines the usual P1 and P2 categories. The Drayson Racing Lola coupe will start from sixth, one of several teams who will travel to Le Mans next month.
Smith and Chris Dyson – the team's regular drivers – will be joined for the race by Andy Meyrick. The 24-year-old Briton has already raced with the team, joining for the 12 Hours of Sebring in March, but this weekend's race at Laguna Seca will be his first time at the famous Californian circuit.
“This is known as one of the more challenging circuits in America,” Meyrick admitted. “I have found the elevation changes are quite something and the Corkscrew is like falling off the edge of the world, but I am enjoying it all.”
The race starts at 10:30pm Saturday UK time, with live commentary from www.radiolemans.com.
Phot Credit: Dyson Racing/Regis Lefebure