The Petit Le Mans LMP2 class-winning car of Butch Leitzinger and Marino Franchitti will be sporting a new livery this weekend as ARCO comes on board for the last race of the 2009 American Le Mans Series at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
BP's prominent west coast brand will be the main backer of the #20 Lola Coupe, which will run with a new colour scheme in California, two weeks after Leitzinger and Franchitti secured the second win of the year for the car to go with its three class poles.
“In our ongoing partnership with BP/Castrol and their family of brands, we are very pleased to have the #20 car in ARCO colours for the season finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca,” commented motorsports team development manager John Doonan, “For all of us at Mazda, our partners are the key to our success and to be able to showcase ARCO to the fans is very special. We also hope that we can bring ARCO along on the momentum we have going as of late and in preparation for 2010. With three pole positions in a row and the Petit Le Mans victory, we hope we can take them to the front and the top step of the podium to close out the season.”
As at the Petit Le Mans, the team will be running BP's new biofuel blend of gasoline, ethanol and biobutanol in the #16 car entry. The car will not be running for points as the fuel is currently experimental and not widely available. At the Petit Le Mans, the #16 BP Lola finished seventh overall, ahead of the LMP2 class-winning #20 entry in a successful public debut for BP's biobutanol fuel.
Joining Dyson and Smith in the #16 car for the Monterey Sports Car Championships will be Ben Devlin, who shared in the sister car's success at Road Atlanta.
"Ben has done an excellent job for us all year,” Dyson noted, “He's been very helpful in testing and his race pace at Sebring and Atlanta was strong. The four-hour race length at Mazda Raceway allows for three drivers to each put in some quality time behind the wheel, so we thought this would be a great opportunity for Ben to contribute. He and Guy Smith are the same size, so the driver changes between the two of them should be quite seamless. I'm looking forward to this weekend and giving Mazda a strong showing at their home track."