ELKHART LAKE, WI, August 10, 2013 – 2014 came early here at Road America this weekend. The American Le Mans Series and the Grand-Am Rolex Series are sharing the weekend for the first time as a precursor to their combination next year as United SportsCar Racing. The Dyson duo of Tony Burgess and Chris McMurry will start second for tomorrow’s Orion Energy Systems 245. McMurry qualified the Dyson Racing Lola Mazda four seconds quicker than his fastest time from Friday practice.
McMurry commented on qualifying: “A lot of time, it boils down to the car. The car was excellent: it was very confident with no moments and there is a little bit left in it. We made some changes that allowed us to rail through turn one and the Carousel. And through the Kink, the car was truly amazing. You throw in some gusto from the driver and it was a good run.”
This is Chris McMurry’s home track. “I grew up near Milwaukee and we use to come up here for the June Sprints and this is where I really started to enjoy racing. We would go to Canada Corner and sit on the inside with my mother and my friends. To be honest, I think the combination of Hot Wheels and Road America is the reason why I got into racing initially! For me, racing is is a great mind clearing activity because your focus is totally and completely without exception on your driving. Nothing else goes into your mind. I love the challenge of pushing myself. I have always been a very progress oriented person and racing is great for people like us – every lap and every corner is a new opportunity for progress.”
At over four miles, Road America is the longest track of the ALMS season. There are fourteen turns and three straights and the Dyson Racing Lola Mazda reaches 180 mph on the almost mile-long front straight. Tony Burgess compares Road America to his home track: “This is a classic road course like my home track, Mosport. This track suits me and I have always been fast here and done well here. Unlike some of today’s man-made courses with their artificial chicanes, this is classic course that follows the natural terrain. It has all the elements – elevation changes, long straights, and a good variety of corners. Tracks like Mosport and Road America define why I race: I am a technical person who likes to experience the physical forces and challenges of a high speed sport. My background is in aerospace engineering and racing combines both the technical aspects and physical challenges. Everyday life tends to be slower paced and I find the pace of racing just right for me.”
Last year Chris Dyson and Guy Smith won here with Guy Smith setting the record for the closest ever overall finish in ALMS history with his 0.083 margin of victory.