Dyson puts the MAZDA in Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

May 22, 2010

Dyson puts the MAZDA in Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

May 22, 2010

Guy Smith scored his first ALMS pole driving a Mazda powered Lola at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Photo credit: Rick Dole

Dyson Racing driver Guy Smith helped the Mazda powered Lola show its heels to the field in qualifying here at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca to capture the pole for Saturday’s third stop on the 2010 American Le Mans Series season.

Smith, a veteran of 56 ALMS starts, secured his first pole position in the ARCO-sponsored, isobutanol-fueled coupe. Smith secured pole with the fastest lap of the weekend, circulating the 2.238-mile circuit in 1:12.338.

“I made my mind up, the pole wasn’t going to be taken away this weekend,” Smith said.

Earlier, Smith almost snatched the pole with a lap at 1:13.152, a tenth adrift of David Brabham in the Patron Highcroft Racing HPD ARX 01-c. That lap was thwarted after Smith encountered eventual LMPC polesitter Johnny Mowlem exiting Turn 9. Smith darted left to avoid any contact.

Brabham’s earlier time of 1:13.009 held for second and Klaus Graf kept Muscle Milk Team CytoSport in the top three at 1:13.855. The two Lola AERs were next with Lord Paul Drayson sixth in his first ever qualifying session aboard Drayson Racing’s Lola Judd closed top prototype.

Smith co-drives with Chris Dyson and Andy Meyrick for Dyson, Brabham with Simon Pagenaud and Marino Franchitti for Highcroft.

Mowlem maximized the speed and potential for the new PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports team in only its second start. After missing the 12 Hours of Sebring, Mowlem scored the LMPC pole position with a rebound after Long Beach. He will co-drive with Tom Papadopoulos and Ryan Lewis.

“I’m absolutely delighted,” Mowlem said. “I completely messed up in Long Beach because we had a car good enough for pole there. When you get the car, you do what you can with it, and this team has done a lot in a very short amount of time.”

Mowlem clocked a lap of 1:17.800, edging Long Beach winner Gunnar Jeannette at a 1:17.971. Christophe Bouchut and Tom Sutherland were close, each in the 1:18.2 range, while Intersport’s LMPC entry will have to make bodywork repairs after an incident toward the end of the session.

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