Heavy rain at Mid Ohio brought out the red flag for the Pirelli World Challenge race #11. This resulted in #8 Bentley Continental GT3 from Dyson Racing finishing in 12th place after a good effort.
Butch Leitzinger qualified in eighth position in the Continental GT3. The Pirelli World Challenge uses a standing start, which always provides a drama and excitement filled start to the race. Leitzinger got off with a fairly good start, but was pushed out of his line by a quicker car that came up on his passenger side.
On the first lap, there were a series of cars off track including a Lamborghini Gallardo that led to the collision of two Porsche 911s. All three cars had to exit and the race would be under full course caution for a number of laps.
As the green flag returned, the #8 Bentley Continental GT3 was in eighth place. From that point, Leitzinger moved the car up through the field uneventfully and was putting down some good laps when the first rain drops appeared.
The rain picked up pace quickly and almost immediately cars began skidding off the track as if they were on ice as their racing slicks lost all traction with the racing surface. The Dyson Bentley along with several other GT cars came into the pits to switch out to rain tires. Despite a quick tire change, the Bentley Continental GT3 rejoined the field in 12th, down from 6th position prior to the pit.
Unfortunately, the race was red flagged shortly there after. With about 8 minutes left on the clock, the checkered flag was waved, signifying the premature end to the race. This cemented a 12th place finish for #8 Bentley. It was the right strategy to come in for tired, but it just didn’t work in Dyson Racing’s favor this time.
Prior race leader Mike Skeen in an R8 was awarded third place, and Ryan Dalziel was awarded the win in his Porsche 911 (pictured) as he didn’t come in to the pits for different tires. This was an unfortunate race end for the Bentley because in this racing series, the second race of the weekend is seeded based on the results of the first race. This means Leitzinger will be starting in 12th instead of 6th (or better.)
Race #12 in the Pirelli World Challenge is tomorrow, again at Mid Ohio, where they hope to have better weather.
Photo credit to @MKSPIX @EFFORTRacing