Dyson Racing's pair of Lola-Mazda P1 cars will start the American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix from first and fourth after qualifying for the team's home American Le Mans Series (ALMS) race at Lime Rock Park.
Driving the team's #16 entry Guy Smith set the pole lap to give the Poughkeepsie, New York based team pole at the tiny Connecticut venue for the second consecutive year. 12 months ago the pole position, set by Smith's co-driver Chris Dyson was part of dominant weekend for the squad as the duo combined to lead 165 of the 187 laps completed during the two hour, 45 minute event.
During the 15 minute qualifying session for the Prototype classes of the ALMS Smith battled for the top time with Lucas Luhr at the wheel of the Muscle Milk Racing run HPD.
“It was nip and tuck during qualifying,” assessed Smith. “It has been an uphill battle for us this year. Rob Dyson said to us after Mazda Raceway, 'look guys we have to knuckle down and go out there and get it done.' He gave us the opportunity to test and test and we went to the seven post rig and did everything possible. This is a credit to the guys and the work they have done in this very hot weather. Last year this race was a turning point and here's hoping it is dÃ©jÃ vu.”
Luhr had to settle for second on the grid a tenth down on Smith's pole lap of 44.017 seconds, the German the filling sandwiched between the two Dyson cars in the P1 times, Eric Lux and Michael Marsal making their second race start of the year.
It was Lux – a winner in the LMPC class at Lime Rock last year – who qualified the car with a best time of 46.552 seconds to leave the car fourth overall behind the best of the P2 class cars in third place.
“The team gave me a great car,” said Eric. “Michael got up to pace really quickly and he did a great job in practice. I did some initial laps in qualifying and came in make a change. The car was understeering and we were able to take care of maybe 60 per cent of it. We will continue with that change overnight and the car will be even better tomorrow.”
The 2012 Northeast Grand Prix is scheduled to start at 3pm local time (8pm UK time).