Leitzinger joins Dyson Racing for ALMS opener
Dyson Racing is celebrating its 30th year in professional sports car racing this year. It is fitting that long-time Dyson Racing driver Butch Leitzinger will join Chris Dyson and Guy Smith in the No. 16 Lola-Mazda coupe for the 61st Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida on March 16. An 18-year veteran of the team, Butch first drove for team in the 1995 24 Hours of Daytona. He has won three championships for the team, placed second four times and third twice.
“I’m so pleased to be joining Chris and Guy for Sebring,” Leitzinger said. “They have done an excellent job in developing the car, and we saw some significant gains at the test, and I think that we can continue on that path.”
One of racing’s more celebrated sports car drivers, Leitzinger has 34 victories –seven of his 10 in American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón – under the Dyson Racing banner, including two wins in the 24 Hours of Daytona.
He was a full-time Dyson driver from 1995 through 2009 and drove the last two races of 2011 for the team. “We had a test at Sebring a couple of weeks ago, and when I walked into the tent on the first day, it felt like I had never been away,” Leitzinger said. “There is such a sense of camaraderie among the entire team, and everyone not only pulls their own weight, but chips in to help everyone else. And we all enjoy a good laugh and have a great time together.”
“It is terrific having Butch back with us,” Dyson said. “He tested with us in January and he was immediately back on the pace in just a matter of laps. As always, he is remarkable with the crew and gives terrific feedback on the car. He is ‘no maintenance’ in the best sense of the word. It is just like old times really. Butch is one of the best.”
Leitzinger celebrated his 100th American Le Mans Series race last year at Lime Rock. Asked to talk about his many years driving with his former seatmate, James Weaver said, “As a driver, he combines searing pace with an astonishingly safe pair of hands. As a teammate, he is totally reliable, trustworthy and unfailingly gracious. Butch is an enormous asset to Dyson Racing. His speed alone would have guaranteed him a place on the team, but it is his ability to jump into the car, with any setup, and within literally two laps, extract a time from it that makes him such a devastating asset. It was this ability, more than anything, that allowed him to provide such a crucial ingredient, vital to the team’s success in racing.”
The new ALMS season goes green with the 61st Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida on Saturday, March 16. The race will air live starting at 10:45 a.m. ET on SPEED, and ticket information is available through ALMS.com.