Dyson Racing teammates Butch Leitzinger (left) and Chris Dyson
discuss Road Atlanta setups. Dyson set the fastest lap of the day
in Tuesday's test session.
The #20 Dyson Racing Lola-MG was the fastest car of the day in
Tuesday's American Le Mans Series test at Road Atlanta.
The Dyson Racing crew makes adjustments to its Lola-MG Prototype
during Tuesday's American Le Mans Series testing session at Road
The Essex Racing Lola-Millington Prototype (front) leads the
ACEMCO Ferrari 360 Modena through Road Atlanta's "S" turns during
Tuesday's American Le Mans Series testing session.
Some young race fans check out Dyson Racing's paddock area during
the lunch break at Tuesday's American Le Mans Series test session
at Road Atlanta. Testing will continue Wednesday and is open to
the public at no charge.
The Team Olive Garden Ferrari 550 Maranello approaches Turn 10 at
Road Atlanta during Tuesday's American Le Mans Series testing
The Orbit Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RS goes through its paces at Road
Atlanta during Tuesday's American Le Mans Series test session.
With the American Le Mans Series set to return to
action in a month, nine teams from the series took the opportunity
Tuesday to shake down their cars in the first of two days of open
testing at Road Atlanta, with a surprising fastest driver of the day.
Chris Dyson of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., in his first full
season of American Le Mans Series competition, turned the day’s
fastest lap with a time of 1:12.495 in the Dyson Racing Lola EX257-MG
Prototype. The 24-year-old driver posted the speed midway through the
morning session and it was not topped the rest of the day.
The American Le Mans Series started its season with the Mobil 1 Twelve
Hours of Sebring in March, but will not race again until the Chevy
Grand Prix of Atlanta at Road Atlanta June 27-29. The gap in the
schedule is due to the series practice of scheduling around the 24
Hours of Le Mans, allowing teams that want to participate in the
French racing classic the opportunity to do so. And while 21 teams
that compete on the series have already shipped their cars and
equipment to France, many of the teams that are not running Le Mans
were at Road Atlanta on Tuesday.
“It’s been wonderful to have this test here,” said Butch Leitzinger,
another driver for Dyson Racing. “For the teams not going to Le Mans,
it’s been a huge gap, and we all needed to get out and do some
running. And with the next race being here, it’s a huge advantage to
us to test here.”
Tuesday’s testing was run under sunny skies with mild temperatures in
the mid-70s. The two Dyson machines, which compete in the LMP 675
class, are expected to be among the contenders for the overall win in
the Chevy Grand Prix of Atlanta.
“We’ve made tons of changes on the car and it is handling very well,”
said Leitzinger, of State College, Pa., who will co-drive with James
Weaver of England in the #16 Dyson entry. “With the new engine
restrictors, it’s hurt our straight-line speed some, and we’re trying
some things with the aerodynamics of the car to try and compensate for
that. This is a difficult track to try and make up time on because you
are flat out in so many places around it, so you need that
The #20 Dyson entry, co-driven by Chris Dyson and Andy Wallace of
England, was the car that set the day’s fastest time. The lap by Dyson
was slower than the LMP 675 class track record of 1:11.883 set last
October by Weaver in qualifying for the Petit Le Mans, the
season-ending race for the ALMS.
“This might not be the year for new lap records here,” said
Leitzinger. “Again because of the engine restrictors. But I could be
wrong; there are a lot of good race teams that will be here next month
and you never know what might happen.”
Another driver happy with the testing session was Shane Lewis of
Jupiter, Fla., co-driving the ACEMCO Motorsports Ferrari 360 Modena
with Cass Whitehead of Gainesville, Ga. Lewis joined the team just
prior to the Sebring race when another driver became ill. Lewis
impressed the team owner enough that he was hired to drive for the
rest of the season.
“Having this time to test with the team is great,” said Lewis. “And
this is one of the best facilities for testing. The combination of the
good weather, good temperatures, and a low-key atmosphere for two days
is just what we needed. We all get to work together and get to know
one another in this environment. These guys are committed to winning.”
NOTES: Road Atlanta announced on Tuesday that Chevrolet will be
the title sponsor of the June 27-29 event, the event to be known as
the Chevy Grand Prix of Atlanta …. Testing will continue on Wednesday
and is free to the public …. Two single-car, no-contact spins were the
only incidents of the day on Tuesday. Leo Hindery spun his Porsche 911
GT3 RS in turn 12 during the morning, while Weaver spun his Lola-MG in
turn three near the end of the day …. Female driver Melanie Paterson,
who will co-drive with Jason Workman in the Road Atlanta event next
month, will be on hand Wednesday for testing in the Essex Racing Lola
…. The Carsport America Dodge Viper missed part of the morning session
after losing a hose ….
Tuesday’s testing speeds summary, showing drivers, hometowns or
countries, type car (class) and lap time:
Chris Dyson, Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and Andy Wallace,
England; Lola EX257-MG (LMP 675), 1:12.495.
James Weaver, England, and Butch Leitzinger, State
College, Pa.; Lola EX257-MG (LMP 675), 1:12.698.
Emanuele Naspetti, Italy, and Mimmo Schiattarella,
Italy; Ferrari 550 Maranello (GTS), 1:20.000.
Tom Weickardt, Whitefish Bay, Wis.; Aaron Pouolito,
Canada, and Jean Philippe Belloc, France; Dodge Viper GTS-R (GTS),
Jason Workman, Flowery Branch, Ga., and James Gue,
Roswell, Ga.; Lola B2K40-Millington (LMP 675), 1:24.865.
David Murry, Cumming, Ga., and Justin Jackson, Buford,
Ga.; Porsche 911 GT3 RS (GT), 1:25.964.
Leo Hindery, New York, N.Y., and Peter Baron,
Deerfield Beach, Fla.; Porsche 911 GT3 RS (GT), 1:26.943.
Shane Lewis, Jupiter, Fla., and Cass Whitehead,
Gainesville, Ga.; Ferrari 360 Modena (GT), 1:27.587.
Joe Policastro, Latrobe, Pa., and Jay Policastro,
Latrobe, Pa.; Porsche 911 GT3 RS (GT), 1:28.954.
AutoRacing1 is an
independent internet online publication and is not affiliated with, sponsored by, or endorsed
by CART Inc., NASCAR, FIA, FedEx, Winston, or any other series sponsor. This material may not be published,
broadcast, or redistributed without permission. User agreement