TEAM NEWS: Just Like Old Times for Dysons, Leitzinger at Watkins Glen

Photo by John Thawley Howard Motorsports trio to drive #16 Porsche Crawford in 6-hour event

Denver, N.C. (June 5, 2007) ... When the Grand-Am Rolex Series pulls into Watkins Glen this week for the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen, it will be like "old times" for the #16 Howard Motorsports Team. With Rob Dyson, Chris Dyson, and Butch Leitzinger teaming to pilot the Thetford / Norcold Porsche Crawford in the six-hour endurance race, the veteran trio will be looking to visit familiar property at the historic track.

The total number of victories at the Watkins Glen International road course for the talented trio is many, and their record in Rolex Series competition at the New York track is enviable.

Butch Leitzinger, who will be making his first start of the 2007 season in the #16 Porsche Crawford, teamed with James Weaver to win at The Glen in 1995. EFR (Elliott Forbes-Robinson) joined the duo to win in 1997. The Dyson Racing team of Leitzinger, Weaver, and Andy Wallace triumphed in August, 2000 in the SR Class, with Leitzinger and Weaver winning one year later in the SRP Class. In 2002, Chris Dyson and Weaver won the SRP Class race in June, and Leitzinger teamed with Rob Dyson to win the SRP Class event in August. That was the last win for either Dyson or Leitzinger at Watkins Glen, but their speeds in the '02 wins are still race records for both the short and long courses at Watkins Glen.

The #16 Thetford / Norcold Porsche Crawford has competed in three Grand-Am Rolex Series races in 2007 with a 17th-place finish at Virginia International Raceway on April 29th their best result. However, the familiar surroundings of Watkins Glen and the longstanding relationship of the Dysons and Leitzinger point to a positive outcome Saturday.

"Actually, for as long as we've driven together on the same team, this weekend's race is the first time that Butch and I have shared a car," Chris Dyson stated. "We've joked about it for some time, and it just happens that the Watkins Glen weekend was a chance for us to drive together and support Dad (Rob). We're both looking forward to the experience."

When asked about racing and winning at Watkins Glen, Chris Dyson had some very meaningful thoughts.

"Before I came into professional racing, one of my major goals was to win the Sin Hours of Watkins Glen," Dyson commented. "The Glen is my all-time favorite track, and to have won the Six Hours in my first try and to stand on the podium afterwards with James Weaver and my Dad was really something special. Our family has a history of success at Watkins Glen that dates back to my Dad's first SCCA regional event in 1974. Since it's our 'home track' besides Lime Rock, it has particular importance and place in our hearts."

"This weekend will be very competitive and hard fought," Dyson added. "The past few years, we've been a little snakebit at this race for some odd reason, so we're hoping to turn that around. Certainly, I think the Porsche engine package should excel around here, and the Crawford certainly showed some big progress at Laguna Seca a few weeks ago. Rob (Dyson) had a chance to do a two-day test at Daytona a few weeks ago and it went well. Butch (Leitzinger) is no stranger to victory lane in the Rolex Series, so I think we're all very enthusiastic about the upcoming race."

Enthusiasm is obvious when you ask Rick Howard, President of Howard Motorsports, about the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen.

"When the Porsche Crawford of Alex Job Racing won at Laguna Seca three weeks ago, the excitement level was certainly high," Howard commented. "A win stirs excitement and builds momentum, and that's what we have heading to Watkins Glen. We tested at Daytona with Rob (Dyson) for a couple days recently, and had an outstanding result. It was as good as a test could be and the #16 team left with high hopes."

"Going to historic Watkins Glen this week is exciting for me," Howard added. "I'm excited because Rob is excited. He feels so good about his racing after the Daytona test, and his excitement is infectious. He ran lots of laps at Daytona and is in great shape for this race. Of course, Chris (Dyson) and Butch (Leitzinger) are both really good at The Glen. Both know how to carry a car around that course, and coming off the Porsche Crawford win at Laguna Seca, everybody is really pumped for this weekend."

« TEAM NEWS: Suntrust Racing Watkins Glen Preveiw | Main | TEAM NEWS: Endurance Month »

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.
Editor Permission Required
You must have editing permission for this entry in order to post comments.