x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Al Masaood delighted for Dyson Racing to take ALMS championship

The Emirati Oryx Racing driver was happy to lose out on second place at Laguna Seca, which saw the sister team wrap up the overall team, manufacturer and drivers' championships.

Humaid Al Masaood was happy with how smooth he drived on the tricky Laguna Seca circuit in the penultimate round of the American Le Mans Series.
Humaid Al Masaood was happy with how smooth he drived on the tricky Laguna Seca circuit in the penultimate round of the American Le Mans Series.

Humaid Al Masaood, the Abu Dhabi-based driver, was happy to lose out on second place at the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) six-hour race at Laguna Seca that allowed his Dyson Racing teammates to secure the series drivers' championship.

Oryx Racing continued their impressive debut season in the ALMS with another podium on Saturday, but the result only told half the story, as a pit-stop with less than an hour to go in the race saw Dyson Racing overtake them, and consequently secure the overall team, manufacturer and drivers' championships.

"I am delighted for Chris Dyson and Guy Smith, who have been such an inspiration for us this season and thoroughly deserve the title," the Emirati said after the race in California. "We drove a great race, but this is a team sport and in our debut season nothing can take away from our achievements.

"We are already looking forward to the Petit Le Mans season finale in two weeks, where we aim to finish on a high."

Starting the gruelling Modspace ALMS Monterey Grand Prix second on the grid, the Abu Dhabi-based team proceeded to continue a superb run of form that had seen them record three podium finishes in five races, including victory at the Baltimore Grand Prix two weeks ago.

Al Masaood was pleased with the way he drove against top-flight drivers on arguably the most testing track and the ALMS biggest race of the season at Laguna Seca with the infamous "Corkscrew" section that is part of the 11-turn 3.6km layout.

"This circuit is very different from any other we have raced at in the ALMS, it was daunting at first, especially the Corkscrew section but a few laps into practice I felt comfortable," he said.

"You really need to find a rhythm here and be very smooth with the car. In the race the tyres came in well, I set a good pace and felt very good about my time in the car.

"For me, personally, it was a good benchmark to be mixing it up with top flight drivers in factory-backed cars."

Butch Leitzinger, the experienced American driver, joined Al Masaood, and his teammate Steven Kane for the six hour race. The trio helped Oryx Racing remain in second place behind Aston Martin Racing, the eventual winners, before the pit-call saw them drop back to third.

As a result, the team have moved closer to securing third in the championship ahead of the final race in Atlanta in two weeks.