ELKHART LAKE, WI – It was a successful debut for Dyson Racing Team Bentley and the new Bentley Continental GT3 in today’s Pirelli World Challenge race here at iconic Road America. Butch Leitzinger finished sixth in the twin-turbo V-8 powered entry, fourteen seconds off of first place. He set the second fastest race lap which means he will start on the outside of the front row for tomorrow’s second race of the weekend.
The race was a forward march for Leitzinger. He made up 13 positions in the 50 minute race. While the race was run under dry conditions, this morning’s wet qualifying session was cancelled and the grid was based on points. With this being the first race for the team in PWC, no prior championship points put Leitzinger in the 19th starting position.
Leitzinger summed up his race: “It was great. The car performed well and I had fun racing with people. It is great to be able to dice with people and go wheel to wheel and everyone was very fair. No one was giving anything and that is how you want to race people. The track changed quite a bit between the rain and the NASCAR rubber that was put down, and it looked like everyone was struggling for grip. We learned a lot and Bentley has produced a great race car and Dyson has done a great job of bringing it to the race track. We are going to have fun with this car the rest of the year.”
Chris Dyson, Vice President and Sporting Director of Dyson Racing, commented that “It was a good inaugural race for our Anglo-American partnership. The car has run trouble- free this weekend and Butch, as usual, worked the traffic well in the race. We have been made to feel very welcome by everyone in Pirelli World Challenge, and it is great to have the team back at a race track, doing what they do best.”
“It is probably the most sorted new car that I have driven,” added Leitzinger talking about the Continental GT3. “The Bentley people and the M-Sport people had done a great job of putting together a good package. Plus we had Guy Smith who helped with the development on the car, so everyone deserves a lot of credit for producing a good baseline car. We have not had to chase the usual new car teething problems and from the very beginning the Bentley has felt solid.
“I am very impressed with the feel and capabilities of the car. Normally a GT car is all mechanical with very little aero, but this car has good aerodynamics. Their wind tunnel work shows as you can feel the downforce on the car.”
Peter Weston, the race engineer for Dyson Racing, also found a lot to like about the new car. “The chassis is stiff and racy which opens up a lot of doors to the engineer as far as how he can set the car up. Butch found the same thing from the drivers’ seat that he can bring a lot to the table as a driver and use his full repertoire of race craft. Normally with GT cars, there is only one way to drive them, but with the new Bentley, the driver can drive it how he wants to go quickly. The car is actually quite nimble and is a flexible platform from both engineering and driver’s viewpoint.”
You can catch all the action of this weekend’s Pirelli World Challenge races at one the classic circuits in America on Friday, July 4, 6:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network.