AUSTN, TX September 20, 2013 – The remnants of Hurricane Manuel brought additional flavor to this afternoon’s qualifying for the International Sports Car Weekend at the Circuit of the Americas. Chris McMurry qualified the #16 Lola Mazda in the rain, setting the second fastest P1 time and fifth overall best for tomorrow’s inaugural American Le Mans Series race here at COTA, the only FIA Grade 1 facility in the U.S.
“I would have loved to have had another ten laps. I am actually getting to enjoy the rain,” said McMurry. “The car was really quite good, so that was giving me confidence. There was another two or three seconds in the car, but it went well and I am happy.”
This is the third of four races this year for Tony Burgess and Chris McMurry in the #16 Dyson entry. Tony Burgess drove the majority of the initial test session Tuesday here at the home of the American F1 race. “It is a great facility. The track is a modern Formula One track which means it is very smooth and has a big mix of corners, including various super tight and technical corners. Turn One is an interesting turn with the speed you carry down the front straight and then steep uphill while at the top, it is such a slow corner– very unique, and different. Normally you would not get that sort of combination on a natural terrain track.”
This is the first time here for both Tony Burgess and Chris McMurry and Chris was impressed. “It is a great to have this in the United States because it is an incredible circuit. There is literally not a bump in the track. For people who drive in the United States, we are used to bumpy tracks but here, it is as smooth as silk. It is a fairly demanding circuit, and is quite technical, much more than I imagined. I played it on Xbox and watched videos, and did as much preparation as I could. It is a tighter circuit than I thought it would be: there are four corners where you are coming down to first or second gear. But all in all, really fun to drive.”
This inaugural ALMS race at COTA is the eighth round of the ten-race 2013 ALMS season and the only shared weekend with the FIA World Endurance Championship this year. Chris Dyson is also participating in this weekend’s sports car doubleheader and will be co-driving the #41 Greaves Motorsport Zytek P2 entry in Sunday’s six-hour WEC race. “This track has an amazing combination of corners which are pretty relentless. It is one of the more technical tracks that we race on in the U.S. You have a combination of corners which is unlike what you will see anywhere else. It creates a unique challenge for the engineers and as a driver, you have to be really disciplined in your execution. So it ends up being a lap that is very satisfying when you get it right.”