Both of Dyson Racing's Lola-Mazda suffered problems on the shortest track on the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) calendar at Lime Rock Park.
Making just their second race start of the year driver combination Michael Marsal and Eric Lux endured a tough afternoon. The pair were victim of the close-quarters racing typical of the Connecticut track, being hit in the rear during the second hour of the race.
The impact was initially of little concern, however, damage later forced the team to put the car twice to fix faulty brake lights, dropping them down the order, though they still collected a race finish and third in P1.
“This is the second race we have had with Dyson Racing and our second podium,” said Lux. “The guys worked really hard. All in all, the car was strong. We had some understeer when I got in but I was able to climb a number of positions, but we than ended up losing those fixing the brake light damage.”
Chris Dyson started the car from pole and led briefly before being overhauled by P1 rivals Muscle Milk Racing, though their time in the lead was limited by electronics problem that put Dyson back ahead before he pitted to hand the #16 car off to pole winner Guy Smith for the second part of the two hour, 45 minutes race.
Shortly after Smith took over the car he picked up a puncture, having to nurse the car around the 1.5 mile track. On such a short track – the puncture – a normally minor delay cost the team three laps.
“It was a tough race,” Smith said. “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.”
Late race caution periods allowed the two P2 class cars that had taken advantage of the P1s problems and take second place behind the Muscle Milk duo.
“Guy lost almost three laps with the puncture,” explained team principal Rob Dyson. “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.”