Smith, Dyson End Pickett’s Charge
A year after missing out by 0.112 seconds at Road America, Guy Smith delivered victory for Dyson Racing on Saturday in the closest overall finish in the history of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón – 0.083 seconds.
Despite starting next-to-last on the grid, Smith and Chris Dyson won the four-hour Road America Road Race Showcase, ending Muscle Milk Pickett Racing’s five-event winning streak.
Lucas Luhr of Muscle Milk appeared to have the race won by passing Smith in the final corner, but Smith and the No. 16 Lola-Mazda won a drag race up the hill and to the checkered flag.
Dyson took the start of the race from the 34th position after missing qualifying due to a faulty gearbox. He moved into first place after 22 laps and led four times in the four-hour enduro.
The pole-sitting Muscle Milk Honda Performance Development ARX-03a led the first 21 laps before pitting due to a broken hose clamp. Klaus Graf lost four laps, but he and Luhr fought back to get back on the lead lap with about 45 minutes remaining. A late full-course caution took nearly a minute out of Smith’s lead with less than 30 minutes to go. The two cars ran nose-to-tail for the last three laps, and memories of 2011 surely came flooding back for both teams. Fortunately for Smith and Dyson, the shoe was on the other foot this time around.
The overall finish was one of a handful of magic moments on the day. CORE autosport clinched its second straight Prototype Challenge championship with a 1-2 finish led by Alex Popow and Tom Kimber-Smith.
BMW Team RLL’s Bill Auberlen and Jörg Müller won in GT in another hard-fought battle – the team’s third win at Road America in four years. Conquest Endurance’s Martin Plowman and David Heinemeier-Hansson won their second P2 race of the year and led overall twice.
Cooper MacNeil and Jeroen Bleekemolen won in GT Challenge for Alex Job Racing. Their Porsche 911 GT3 Cup won by 2.459 seconds in a back-and-forth affair.
Road America, Elkhart Lake, Wis.
1. (35) Chris Dyson, Pleasant Valley, NY; Guy Smith, Beverley, UK; Lola B12/60 Mazda (1, P1), 101.
2. (1) Klaus Graf, Germany; Lucas Luhr, Germany; HPD ARX-03a Honda (2, P1), 101.
3. (2) Tony Burgess, Canada; Michael Marsal, Bedford, NY; Eric Lux, Jacksonville, FL; Lola B11/66 Mazda (3, P1), 101.
4. (3) David Heinemeier Hansson, Chicago, IL; Martin Plowman, Indianapolis, IN; Morgan/Nissan (4, P2), 101.
5. (7) Tom Kimber-Smith, England; Jon Bennett, Fort Mill, SC; Alex Popow, Lecheria, VE; Oreca FLM09 (5, PC), 100.
6. (34) Jon Bennett, Fort Mill, SC; Colin Braun, Ovalo, TX; Oreca FLM09 (6, PC), 100.
7. (6) James French, Sheboygan, WI; Kyle Marcelli, Barrie, ON; Chapman Ducote, Miami, FL; Oreca FLM09 (7, PC), 100.
8. (8) Bruno Junqueira; Roberto Gonzalez, Mexico City, Mex; Oreca FLM09 (8, PC), 100.
9. (9) Joe Foster, Lawrenceville, GA; Patrick Dempsey, Malibu, CA; Ben Devlin, England; Lola B12/87-Judd BMW V8 (9, P2), 99.
10. (12) Duncan Ende, Los Angeles; Henri Richard, Los Altos Hills, CA; Oreca FLM09 (10, PC), 99.
11. (4) Scott Tucker, Leawood, KS; Christophe Bouchut, France; HPD ARX-03b Honda (11, P2), 99.
12. (5) Luis Diaz, Mexico; Scott Tucker, Leawood, KS; HPD ARX-03b (12, P2), 98.
13. (16) Bill Auberlen, Hermosa Beach, CA; Jörg Müller, Germany; BMW E92 M3 (1, GT), 97.
14. (14) Jörg Bergmeister; Patrick Long, Oak Park, CA; Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (2, GT), 97.
15. (18) Johannes van Overbeek, San Francisco, CA; Scott Sharp, Jupiter, FL; Ferrari F458 Italia (3, GT), 97.
16. (15) Oliver Gavin, England; Tom Milner, Leesburg, VA; Corvette C6-ZR1 (4, GT), 97.
17. (11) Antonio Downs, Minneapolis, MN; Matt Downs, North Mankato, MN; Lucas Downs, North Mankoto, MN; Oreca FLM09 (5, PC), 97.
18. (22) Sascha Maassen, Aachen, DE; Bryce Miller, Hoboken, NJ; Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (6, GT), 97.
19. (17) Antonio Garcia, Barcelona, ES; Jan Magnussen, Roskilde, DK; Corvette C6-ZR1 (7, GT), 97.
20. (21) Townsend Bell, Santa Monica, CA; Bill Sweedler, Westport, CT; Lotus Evora/Cosworth (8, GT), 97.
21. (13) Marco Holzer, Austria; Seth Neiman, Burlingame, CA; Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (9, GT), 96.
22. (23) Dominik Farnbacher, Germany; Kuno Wittmer, Montreal, ON; SRT Viper GTSR (10, GT), 96.
23. (19) Dirk Müller, Germany; Jonathon Summerton; BMW E92 M3 (11, GT), 95.
24. (25) Guy Cosmo, Long Island, NY; Ed Brown, Las Vegas, NV; Anthony Lazzaro, Acworth, GA; Ferrari F458 Italia (12, GT), 95.
25. (26) Cooper MacNeil, Hinsdale, IL; Jeroen Bleekemolen, Netherlands; Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (1, GTC), 93.
26. (31) Chris Cumming, Vancouver, BC; Martin Ragginger, Austria; Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (2, GTC), 93.
27. (27) Damien Faulkner, Mouille, IE; Peter LeSaffre, Rye, NH; Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (3, GTC), 93.
28. (32) Michael Avenatti, Laguna Beach, CA; Bob Faieta, Tujunga, CA; Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (4, GTC), 93.
29. (33) Alex Welch, Englewood, CA; Rene Villeneuve, Woodland Hills; James Sofronas, Newport Beach, CA; Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (5, GTC), 93.
30. (28) Patrick Huisman, Hengelo, NL; Brian Wong, Newport Beach, CA; Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (6, GTC), 91.
31. (20) Wolf Henzler; Bryan Sellers, Centerville, OH; Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (13, GT), 75.
32. (29) Angel Andres Benitez, Jr, Valencia, VE; Angel Raphael Benitez, Sr, Valencia, VE; Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (7, GTC), 71.
33. (30) Spencer Pumpelly, Atlanta, GA; Emilio Di Guida, Venezuela; Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (8, GTC), 69.
34. (24) Marc Goossens, Belgium; Tommy Kendall, New Smyrna Beach, FL; SRT Viper GTSR (14, GT), 45.
35. (10) Rudy Junco Jr., Monterrey; Marino Franchitti, Scotland; Oreca FLM09 (15, PC), 23, Accident.No Comment