(Poughkeepsie, NY) Dodging spinning and crashing cars that limited a scheduled 50-minute race to just 17 minutes of green flag competition, Bentley Team Dyson Racing’s Chris Dyson drove his Continental GT3 to second place in the Grand Prix of Long Beach “Replay Roar by the Shore” round of the Pirelli World Challenge.
“This was a highly satisfying result,” said a smiling Dyson following the post-race winner’s circle ceremony. “I expected it was going to be a tough race with a lot of incidents. And I knew it would require a balance between aggression and caution in order to get to the front without getting caught up in somebody else’s accident.”
Dyson, who set a new race lap record on his way to the runner-up position, was also presented with the “Move of the Race” award in recognition of the many passes he executed in less than a dozen laps of green flag racing.
“For reasons beyond Bentley’s control or ours, the team struggled at Circuit of the Americas,” said Rob Dyson, CEO of Bentley Team Dyson Racing. “And we were a bit disappointed with the outcomes in yellow-shortened at St. Pete. But it all came together here in Long Beach and I think this confirms the promise the Continental GT3 showed when the team ran it in a few races at the end of last season.”
It wasn’t all post-race smiles in the Dyson section of the paddock though. Butch Leitzinger, who had lined up for the start directly behind Chris Dyson, had his race ruined before the first full green-flag lap when a rookie with little real-word racing experience drilled Leitzinger in the middle of a corner and pushed his Bentley straight into the wall. The car sustained sufficient damage that it the team will be unable to repair it prior to this weekend’s race in Alabama. “We were prpared to repair any damaged bodywork,” said team manager Mike White. “And we had on the truck all the necessary suspension pieces to repair the car. But the damage to the chassis itself was more than can be repaired on short notice. It’s really unfortunate because I think Butch would have followed Chris right up through the field at Long Beach. Now Chris won’t have a teammate to work with at Barber and we won’t have a second car so we can try different setups during the testing and practice.”
Despite the team fielding a single car this weekend for the Grand Prix of Alabama, Rob Dyson is upbeat about Bentley’s chances this weekend. “This definitely gives us great momentum going into this weekend’s races at Barber Motorsports Park. I’m very optimistic about the team’s chances there.”