Lola sportscars enjoyed another successful weekend at Portland in Oregon over the weekend when the LMP1 chassis claimed a front row lock-out for Dyson Racing and the LMP2 chassis run by Intersport Racing
consolidated its lead in the LMP2 points standings.

After a superb qualifying session saw Butch Leitzinger and James Weaver claim pole from the sister Lola's B06/10-AER of Guy Smith and Chris Dyson, it was Smith who got the jump on his team mate Leitzinger as the field filed down in to the Festival Curves for the first time. From there, Smith opened up a healthy lead by the end of the first stint.

"I did not intend to pass Butch, but when it went green, I nailed it and ended up passing him for the lead," said the flying Smith. "I wasn't sure how the car would be at the start, so I decided to just go for it. Obviously it was working quite well. This was the first sportscar race I have led since Le Mans 2003. I forgot how good it feels."

After a full course yellow came out on the stroke of the first hour of racing, Smith pitted to hand over to team mate, Dyson, who returned to the race in 3rd position behind the two Audi R10's. The impressive American turned in some great lap times to stay with the silver and red diesel cars, but a puncture cruelly forced the AER twin turbo powered Lola to pit and any possible chance of challenging to re-take the lead was over and they were forced to settle for 3rd place.

"It was another encouraging weekend," noted Dyson. "We are getting better and better with these cars with two back-to-back strong finishes.

The Leitzinger and Weaver Lola also suffered from a puncture, but this time it was the result of some contact from Biela's Audi at the re-start after the Highcroft and Porsche incident.

"I got to the first turn and somebody hit me," confirmed Leitzinger."I got to the next turn, but the rear tyre deflated and I took a ride through the grass.  We came in and lost three laps fixing bodywork and checking things over. It was a shame, the car was running quite well."

Despite losing over a lap as the car toured around to the pits, Leitzinger and then subsequently James Weaver, hauled the Lola back up the field to finish in 4th position. Weaver also set the second fastest lap with just ten minutes of the race remaining.

Intersport Racing took their third class win of the season to open up a five point cushion on the Penske Porsche pairing of Sascha Maassen and Lucas Luhr. Liz Halliday started and finished the race, showing great pace in the early running despite some contact with Tomas Enge's Aston Martin.

Clint Field ran his usual pacey middle stint and enabled the Intersport Lola to capitalise on a late race engine blow up from the leading Porsche of Maassen and Luhr to claim a hat-trick of wins in 2006.

"This week we were a little closer to the Porsche," said Field after the race. "We have worked very hard on speed and we want to beat them outright. Toward the end of the year, I think we can get closer and beat them fair and square."

Highcroft Racing showed their best pace of the year so far at Portland with Duncan Dayton having a terrific race in the first hour. Lying in a close 7th place at the hour mark, Dayton got a good tow on Romain Dumas' Porsche to out brake the Frenchman in to turn one (Festival curve). However, the Porsche closed the door and the pair made contact, necessitating lengthy pit stops for both cars.

"I thought I had the inside line and was in front, but he tagged the left-rear of my car and spun me around," said Dayton.

Despite the time lost, Andy Wallace scythed through the field during a brilliant recovery drive to net 6th place at flagfall for the Lola B01/60-AER.

A little further down the pack in 8th position was the Autocon Motorsports Lola B01/60. Chris McMurry and Bryan Willman had another consistent race to split the works Corvette and Aston Martin cars at the chequered flag.

The next race on the ALMS schedule is at the spectacular Elkhart Lake race track in Wisconsin on August 20.


Pos  Cl   Driver                        Make              Laps
 1.  P1   R.Capello, A.McNish           Audi R10 TDI      
 2.  P1   F.Biela, E.Pirro              Audi R10 TDI      
 3.  P1   C.Dyson, G.Smith              Lola B06/10 AER   
 4.  P1   J.Weaver, B.Leitzinger        Lola B06/10 AER   
 5.  P2   C.Field, L.Halliday, J.Field  Lola B05/40 AER   
 6.  P1   D.Dayton, A.Wallace           Lola B01/60 AER    
 7.  GT1  O.Gavin, O.Beretta            Corvette C6-R     
 8.  P1   C.McMurry, B.Willman          Lola B01/60 AER    
 9.  GT1  T.Enge, D.Turner              Aston Martin DB9  
10.  GT1  R.Fellows, J.O'Connell        Corvette C6-R     
11.  GT1  P.Lamy, S.Sarrazin            Aston Martin DB9  
12.  P2   S.Maassen, L.Luhr             Porsche RS Spyder 
13.  GT2  J.Melo, M.Salo                Ferrari 430 GT    
14.  GT2  J.Bergmeister, P.Long         Porsche 911 GT3   
15.  GT2  B.Auberlen, J.Hand            BMW E46 M3        
16.  GT2  J.Van Overbeek, W.Henzler     Porsche 911 GT3    
17.  GT2  D.Law, S.Neiman               Porsche 911 GT3   
18.  GT2  G.Jeannette, T.Milner         Panoz Esperante   
19.  GT2  M.Rockenfeller, R.Liddell     Porsche 911 GT3   
20.  GT2  J.Marks, B.Sellers            BMW E46 M3        
21.  GT2  S.Maxwell, D.Brabham          Panoz Esperante   
22.  P2   T.Bernhard, R.Dumas           Porsche RS Spyder 

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Another LMP2 victory for the Intersport car.
(Picture americanlemans.com)
Guy Smith/Chris Dyson finished third in LMP1.
(Picture americanlemans.com)
Sixth place was the reward for the Duncan Dayton/Andy Wallace Highcroft Racing Lola.
(Picture americanlemans.com)
The front row Dyson Lolas take the green flag.
(Picture americanlemans.com)
The Dyson drivers celebrate on the podium.
(Picture americanlemans.com)
Clint Field and Liz Halliday collect their LMP2 spoils.
(Picture americanlemans.com)
The Dyson team work on one of the cars.
(Picture americanlemans.com)
The Dyson high-tech pits.
(Picture americanlemans.com)
Butch Leitzinger is congratulated by Guy Smith after setting the pole lap.
(Picture americanlemans.com)
The Intersport car in the dusk.
(Picture americanlemans.com)