Dyson takes Mazda to first ALMS win
|By Matt Beer||Saturday, August 7th 2010, 22:05 GMT|
Dyson Racing gave Mazda its first outright American Le Mans Series victory as Chris Dyson fended off the Highcroft HPD by just half a second in a stunning finish at Mid-Ohio.
Highcroft's Simon Pagenaud and David Brabham had appeared to lack winning pace for most of the race, but the Frenchman closed right in late on. Dyson was able to resist the pressure though, ending his team's victory drought and giving Mazda its maiden triumph.
For much of the race, both cars had trailed the Intersport Lola, which Clint Field had thrust into the lead at the start. He stayed there for nearly two hours, but the car fell back to third when Field had to hand over to his co-driving father Jon at a late yellow - while Intersport's rivals had already made their driver swaps. The car later dropped out of third with a mechanical problem. The polesitting Drayson car retired after contact in traffic.
Christophe Bouchut and Scott Tucker of Level 5 won LMPC, hitting the front when Gunnar Jeanette spun out of the lead.
Jaime Melo and Gianmaria Bruni won an epic GT contest in the Risi Ferrari, which was slowed for a while by a fuel problem mid-race. A superb charge by Melo brought the car back into contention, and eventually into the lead, where he was able to stay despite Oliver Gavin's Corvette catching him in the final moments.
There was drama in GTC too, where the Black Swan car of Jeroen Bleekmolen and Tim Pappas came back from a first lap spin to win.
Pos Cl Drivers Car Time/Gap 1. P Dyson/Smith Lola-Mazda 2h45m17.657s 2. P Brabham/Pagenaud HPD + 0.506s 3. PC Tucker/Bouchut ORECA + 4 laps 4. P Willman/Drissi Lola + 5 laps 5. PC Gonzalez/Diaz ORECA + 5 laps 6. PC Jeannette/Julian ORECA + 6 laps 7. PC Marcelli/Wong ORECA + 6 laps 8. PC Tucker/Wallace ORECA + 6 laps 9. GT Melo/Bruni Ferrari + 7 laps 10. GT Beretta/Gavin Corvette + 7 laps 11. GT Auberlen/Milner BMW + 7 laps 12. GT Bergmeister/Long Porsche + 7 laps 13. GT Sharp/van Overbeek Ferrari + 7 laps 14. GT Mueller/Hand BMW + 7 laps 15. PC Montecalvo/Zugel ORECA + 8 laps 16. GT Pilet/Neiman Porsche + 8 laps 17. GT Sellers/Henzler Porsche + 9 laps 18. GT Gentilozzi/Goossens Jaguar + 12 laps 19. GTC Pappas/Bleekemolen Porsche + 13 laps 20. GTC Curtis/Sofronas Porsche + 14 laps 21. GTC Sweedler/Kapudija Porsche + 14 laps 22. GTC Miller/Hines Porsche + 14 laps 23. GTC Lewis/Vento Porsche + 16 laps 24. GTC Richard/Pumpelly Porsche + 16 laps 25. GTC Beggs/Baron Porsche + 16 laps Retirements P Field/Field Lola 100 laps GT Fisichella/Vilander Ferrari 100 laps GT Brown/Cosmo Ferrari 96 laps GT Murry/Robertson/Robertson Doran Ford 96 laps GT Magnussen/O'Connell Corvette 49 laps P Buncombe/Prendeville Radical 44 laps P Drayson/Cocker Lola 39 laps