LAKEVILLE, CT, MAY 28 — With approving friends and family from nearby Dutchess County, NY, looking on, Thetford / Norcold Dyson Racing swept to a 1-2 finish in today`s Lime Rock G.P. Twin Sprints. In each of the two forty-five minute races, Dyson`s cars ran consistently at the head of the pack, with James Weaver leading home Elliott Forbes-Robinson in race one and Butch Leitzinger pacing Andy Wallace in the second event. Since both races counted for full points, Weaver and Leitzinger increased their lead at the top of the Rolex Grand-Am Series points standings.
The predictions of rain had come to naught by the time the cars lined up for the 2 PM start of Race One. The sun was glistening and there was a cool breeze. As he has so many times here in the past, James Weaver jumped out to a huge early lead, which he continued to stretch with every passing lap over E.F.R., who was outpacing Mauro Baldi`s third-placed Doran / Lista Ferrari Judd. By the halfway point, Weaver and his #16 Dyson machine had lapped every car on the track but Baldi and E.F.R. As long as the car would hold together, at his race pace Weaver would be lapping Baldi right near the end of the event. Slashing through traffic effortlessly, the Englishman was in total control, and with five minutes to go he was ten seconds behind Baldi. Capitalizing on backmarkers, with a lap to go Weaver passed the Italian on the front straight and crossed the line a few car lengths behind E.F.R.`s #20 machine. To the delight of the Dyson team`s crowd, Weaver and E.F.R. put in a commanding performance which served only as a preview for what was to come in the second sprint race.
After a ten minute intermission and driver change, Butch Leitzinger assumed the inherited pole position besides Andy Wallace, who had taken over driving duties from E.F.R in the #20 car. Not to be upstaged by Weaver, Leitzinger set about making the second race a mirror image of the first. The 31 year-old Pennsylvanian quickly pulled out a gap over Wallace, who had his hands full with Didier Theys Ferrari-Judd and Jon Field`s Intersport Lola. After Field took an early off-course excursion the order was settled, and Leitzinger continued to build his gap over Wallace, who saw off a mid-race charge from Theys and held station in second. After forty-five minutes, Leitzinger crossed the flag to claim his third victory of the 2001 Rolex Grand-Am Series.
It was the team`s first 1-2 since the 1999 U.S. Road Racing Classic at Mid-Ohio, and its first 1-2 finish in Grand-Am competition. For Rob Dyson the win was special: “The guys did a terrific job. We have been here many years where we have had the race won only to have something knock us off at the end. It is very rewarding to back up last year`s win with a 1-2, especially with all of our family and friends watching.”
After his race win in the first sprint, James Weaver beamed and said the car was “magic. It could do whatever I wanted it to do out there today. My thanks to the boys for working so hard to get the car right for this race. Lime Rock is our most important race and I am really happy to have won here again.”
Butch Leitzinger had nothing but praise for Lime Rock`s loyal fan base. 7quotI have gotta take my hat off to the fans who sat through the rain and miserable weather early in the weekend. You guys are great and you deserved this beautiful weather today. Thanks for your support.”
The Dyson team has this coming weekend off before heading to Mid-Ohio for the U.S. Road Racing Classic on June 10.