Bentley Team Dyson Racing is prepping for this morning’s qualifying sessions for the Pirelli World Challenge at the Grand Prix of Long Beach, knowing that they have a busy week ahead. The team and its two Bentley Continental GT’s are competition this weekend in Long Beach, CA, and will then drive the cars across the country for next week’s Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park. The teams usually have two weeks in between events.
The fact that the cars are needed for practice in Alabama four days after Long Beach adds an interesting twist to this weekend’s racing. You see, if you wreck your cars in California, then you don’t have cars for Alabama. In this case, keeping an eye on the competition means literally watching out for fellow drivers, something that both Chris Dyson and Butch Leitzinger are accustomed to having run St. Pete, FL’s street course previously.
“On street courses like Long Beach there are a lot more chances for a car to be damaged in a crash than at a regular road course,” Team owner Rob Dyson said. “That’s just a fact. We saw it in (the two most recent Pirelli World Challenge street-course races at) St. Pete.”
From Dyson Racing:
Leitzinger emphasized the balance between aggression and discretion that’s a key to success on street courses. “There aren’t a lot of chances to pass and these are sprint races that tend to have a lot of full-course yellows,” he said. “You’ve got to make the most of the opportunities that present themselves. But you don’t want to be the reason for that next full-course yellow.”
Leitzinger’s teammate, Chris Dyson, noted that the team’s pair of tractor-trailers won’t be able to depart Long Beach until Sunday evening and are scheduled to arrive at Barber Motorsport Park, 2,000 miles away, by 8:00 a.m. Wednesday. “They’ll need that all of those two-and-a-half days for the drive from California to Alabama,” he said. “We’re not on track until Thursday morning. The good news is that the Continental GT3 was developed for long-distance races as well the sprint racing we do. Hopefully, all the crew will need to do is change the oil and tires and we’ll be ready to go.”
The drivers enter this weekend’s events with Dyson 15th in drivers points and Leitzinger 17th. Bentley as a manufacturer is tied for 8th with AMG/Mercedes, Aston Martin, and Dodge, all of whom haven’t scored any manufacturers points yet. You can see this weekend’s races live on world-challengetv.com and it will be rebroadcast on CBS next Sunday afternoon.