The good times from last year at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course are carrying over for Guy Smith and Dyson Racing. The talented Brit posted the fastest time in Thursday's test session for the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge, Round 5 of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón.
Smith set his quick lap on his next-to-last pass around the 13-turn, 2.25-mile circuit – a 1:15.661 (107.437mph) in the Lola-Mazda coupe that he will share this weekend with Chris Dyson. That put Smith 0.506sec clear of teammate Steven Kane, driving the Oryx Dyson Lola-Mazda with Humaid Al-Masaood.
Smith and Dyson posted their first overall ALMS victory last year at Mid-Ohio. Coincidentally, the winning margin in 2010 was the same as Thursday's gap. The Dyson/Smith combo entered the weekend with the LMP1 championship lead.
Autocon Motorsports' pairing of Tony Burgess and Chris McMurry was third in LMP1 at 1:21.511 (99.726mph) in their Lola-AER.
Corvette Racing got a slight measure of revenge from last year's GT finish with the fastest time in the session. Oliver Gavin set a lap of 1:21.634 (99.576mph) in the Corvette C6.R that he will drive with Jan Magnussen. The pairing came up a half-second shy of a class victory in 2010 when Risi Competizione edged the velocity yellow Corvette. Risi's Jaime Melo is back to defend, this time with Toni Vilander.
The latter set the second-best GT time in the red Ferrari F458 Italia at 1:21.692 (99.505mph). Corvette Racing's second Corvette of Olivier Beretta and Tommy Milner was third, only 0.215sec behind its sister car.
Ricardo Gonzalez was the fastest LMP Challenge driver for CORE autosport. He set a best lap of 1:18.552 (103.483mph) in the ORECA FLM09 that he will drive with Gunnar Jeannette. The pair leads the class championship in a close fight with Genoa Racing.
Intersport Racing's Kyle Marcelli was second quickest at 1:18.689 (103.303mph). The class pole-winner at Mosport was a further 0.291sec ahead of PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports' David Cheng. Marcelli is driving with Tomy Drissi; Cheng is partnering with Javier Echeverria.
Jeroen Bleekemolen was the fastest GT Challenge driver at 1:26.412 (94.070mph) for Black Swan Racing in the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup that he shares with Tim Pappas. Last year's race-winning car in class was 0.886 ahead of TRG's Spencer Pumpelly; he is teaming with Duncan Ende. Alex Job Racing's Leh Keen was third for Alex Job Racing at 1:27.408 (92.998mph). He will drive with Bill Sweedler.
• Saturday's race is set for 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, August 6 with ESPN2 airing the race starting at 10 p.m. ET on Sunday, August 7. Live video coverage on race day will be available at 3:15 p.m. ET on ESPN3.com in the US, and americanlemans.com for international viewers.
• Click here to open the free Mid-Ohio@50 digital special! RACER's digital mini-magazine commemorates 50 years of racing at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.