Road Atlanta: Lola race report
Lola sportscars finished 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the LMP675 class at Road Atlanta last night with the Intersport entry of Jon Field and Duncan Dayton finishing behind the two Audi's in a spirited 3rd overall, making up for the disappointment at Le ...
Lola sportscars finished 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the LMP675 class at Road Atlanta last night with the Intersport entry of Jon Field and Duncan Dayton finishing behind the two Audi's in a spirited 3rd overall, making up for the disappointment at Le Mans a fortnight earlier. Just behind the Intersport car came the first of the Dyson Racing Lola's of Britain's James Weaver and American Butch Leitzinger, completing a clean sweep of the top positions in the 675 category.
It was a weekend of history making for Lola as Weaver took the first ever pole position for a LMP675 spec car. After rain had washed out most of the running on Saturday, times were taken from one of the free practice sessions and Weaver began the race ahead of the previously all-conquering Audi R8's of Lehto/Herbert and Biela/Werner.
Weaver continued the giant killing act for the first 6 laps of the race before Lehto wrested the lead and the other Audi of Frank Biela also deposed the Lola. Holding his own in a solid 3rd position Weaver handed over to Leitzinger who consolidated the place before the second stops when an apparent 'startenator' problem dropped him back in to 5th place and behind the impressive Field who claimed the 675 lead.
It was an exciting finish as both Lola's ran close together in 3rd and 4th overall after hunting down and passing Max Paips' Panoz late in the race. It looked to be heading for a spectacular climax but the leading Dyson car just unable to catch Field's car. "We worked hard to make the car right for thee race and we didn't get much practice," said an ebullient Duncan Dayton on the podium. "It just came on in the race and worked great."
The other Dyson Lola of Andy Wallace and Chris Dyson finished 3rd in class and 15th overall after being delayed by a misfire which was eventually cured but cost the car 10 minutes. The Essex Racing Lola B2K/40 of Melanie Peterson and Jason Workman came home 23rd overall.
Former Grand Prix drivers JJ Lehto and Johnny Herbert in the Champion Audi won the race from the similar R8 of Joest's Marco Werner and Frank Biela.
The next round of the ALMS series takes place at Sears Point next weekend.
Max Papis reflections on Road Atlanta
Standings post-Road Atlanta report