“DAVID COULTHARD on Tom Cruise’s F1 test for Red Bull PAST MASTERS
Dyson’s pair of Lola-Mazdas worked together to clinch the ALMS titles, while Aston Martin’s factory car passed them both for the victory in Monterey.
THE POWER OF TEAMWORK
Dyson Racing locks up American Le Mans Series laurels,
although it takes a little “managed competition” to do it
anyway, there was no need for Cochran
to defend vigorously.
There was one final bit of drama,
though, because Cochran’s fraught last
stint also included a puncture and spin at
the Corkscrew. That dropped him to third
behind the team’s sister car, driven by
Steven Kane, Humaid al Masaood and
Butch Leitzinger. Several “unscheduled
pit stops” duly shifted the positions.
“The goal coming into this weekend
was to put the championship to bed,”
said Chris Dyson. “We did what we had
to do to accomplish that. I’m grateful for
Humaid and the Oryx guys for
cooperating and making that happen.”
Similarly, BMW’s Joey Hand and Dirk
Muller won the GT title by placing second
after a fiercely contested three-way battle
with the Flying Lizard Porsche of Jorg
Bergmeister and Patrick Long (who took
the win) and the Risi Ferrari of Jaime Melo
and Toni Vilander (who dropped to ninth
after a penalty for avoidable contact).
“I think Joey raced me really clean and
fair and fun,” said Long, who was less
impressed with the Ferrari drivers. “Joey
was racing for a championship, so [he]
knew what to do.”
The penultimate round of the American Le Mans Series at
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca resolved both of the top class title
chases as Dyson Racing and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s
BMW team confirmed championships they led from the
opening round – if not in the style they might have liked.
Dyson’s P1 title was uno;cially confirmed when Muscle
Milk Aston Martin Racing’s Lola-Aston had to replace a fuel
pump. It resumed too far behind to threaten its Dyson rivals,
leaving Chris Dyson and Guy Smith in a position where they
didn’t need to win the race to secure the class championship.
Even so, the race looked set to go
Dyson’s way as its two Lola-Mazda
coupes held up well on its “home track.”
However, Stefan Mucke in the factory
Aston Martin – making its first ALMS
appearance since Long Beach last year –
passed Dyson’s third driver Jay Cochran
with 50 minutes remaining. Knowing
the title was in hand and the factory
AMR entry wouldn’t score points
R. D. Etahn/LAT
Pruett pushed hard for a win at Mid-Ohio, but couldn’t get past Dalziel.
Ganassi repeats in Grand-Am, but by getting beaten