LAKEVILLE, CT July 17, 2009 – The BP Mazda Dyson Racing team had its closest qualifying session of the season in today’s qualifying for the Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock. Rain cut the session short as times for the two Dyson Mazda Lola Coupes were coming down. “It is a shame the rain came as we were gaining quite a bit,” said Chris Dyson.

Marino Franchiitti qualified the #20 car second in LMP2, only two tenths off pole and Chris Dyson qualified the sister #16 car third in class. Noted Franchitti, “it just shows the caliber of cars that the team is putting under us right off the truck: the car has never been here before and yet we were right on pace for qualifying.”

The seven-turn, 1.5 mile Lime Rock track is the home track for the Dyson team with the shop less than an hour away. Chris Dyson took his Skip Barber Competition Course at Lime Rock in 1995. “It is a different track than it use to be. Now the technical corners are where the lap time is found whereas before it was more of a flowing, high-speed track where momentum and commitment mattered more,” said Dyson. “It is still a great track, but the challenge is completely different.”

Butch Leitzinger has raced at Lime Rock eighteen of the past twenty years including his fourteen with Dyson Racing. “Even after you have been here a 100 years like I have, it still takes a while to build up speed because every turn relies on the one before it,” remarked Leitzinger. “You mess up turn one, and turn two is a problem, and it cascades down from there. For a shorter distance track, it is full of technical challenge.”

The race starts at 2:05 p.m. EDT tomorrow. The race will air live on SPEED. ALMS Radio and live timing & scoring will be available at Racehub on You also can follow the Series on Twitter (almsnotes). An RSS feed of Series news also is available.

Mazda is the brand choice of road racers across North America. On any given weekend, there are more Mazdas on the road-race-tracks of America than any other brand. You will see MX-5 Miata, RX-8, MAZDA3, MAZDA6, RX-7 and other vintage Mazda models because every Mazda has the Soul of a Sports Car.

Pos Car# Class Drivers Time Car Make
1. 66 P1 de Ferran/Pagenaud 46.971 Acura ARX 02
2. 9 P1 Brabham/Sharp 47.345 Acura ARX 02
3. 15 P2 Fernandez/Diaz 48.281 Acura ARX-01
4. 20 P2 Leitzinger/Franchitti 48.477 Mazda MZR-R
5. 16 P2 Dyson/Smith 48.661 Mazda MZR-R
6. 48 P1 Mowlem/Johansson 49.464 Ginetta-Zytek
7. 37 P1 Field/Field/Ducote 49.935 Lola B06/10
8. 12 P1 Burgess/McMurry 53.523 Lola B06/10
9. 62 GT2 Melo/Kaffer 54.665 Ferrari 430
10. 45 GT2 Bergmeister/Long 54.729 Porsche 911