Closest Finish In ALMS History To Dyson Team

Dyson Racing has shuffled its driver roster for the remainder of 2013. (ALMS Photo)
Guy Smith drove the Dyson Racing No. 16 to victory in Saturday's American Le Mans Series round at Road America. (ALMS photo)

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. — Guy Smith and Dyson Racing were on the other end this time around at Road America.

A year after missing out by 0.112 seconds, 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 in an epic finish. Muscle Milk Pickett Racing’s Lucas Luhr 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.