Robert Franklin "Butch" Leitzinger (born February 28, 1969 in Homestead, Pennsylvania, USA) is a professional racecar driver. He is best known as an ALMS driver with Dyson Racing, but he has also driven for a variety of other teams and race series.
Butch has driven for the Bentley factory team at Le Mans in 2001 and 2002, for the Cadillac team at Le Mans in 2000 and for Panoz at Le Mans in 1999. Leitzinger has also driven in the GT classification for Risi Competizione at Le Mans in 2003. Butch was also named 2002 Rookie of the Year in the Trans-Am Series. Butch drove the Alex Job Racing (AJR) # 81 Porsche GT3 car in the first four events in the American Le Mans Series GTC class for the 2010 season with Juan Gonzales earning victories at the 2010 12 Hours of Sebring as well as at Long Beach and a podium finish at Laguna Seca resulting in the duo achieving a healthy lead in the points standings before unfortunate circumstances forced Alex Job Racing to down size to a single car effort with the #23 car for the remainder of the season.
Butch spent the 2011 season as a substitute driver when needed and as a third driver during endurance races. As a substitute Butch ran a total of two ALMS races, one of which was the Lime Rock race in which he and Bill Sweedler finished third in class in the AJR GTC Porsche. The other race was the Road America race in which Butch drove the PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports LMPC car with Rudy Junco and on his first time ever driving an LMPC car and the first time with the team Butch qualified on pole in class and along with Rudy, won the race in class. As a third driver in endurance races Butch drove along with Humaid Al Masaood and Steven Kane in the # 20 Oryx Dyson Racing car at Laguna Seca and Road Atlanta. At Laguna Seca the 20 car led much of the race and finished in third. In the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta the car was sidelined early with a throttle position sensor problem. Shortly after returning to the track something in the left rear of the car broke as Butch rounded turn 1 at about 150 MPH which sent him off the track and hard into the tires ending the day for the 20 car.
It has been announced that Butch will drive the full 2012 season in the ALMS in the PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports LMPC car. The 2012 season will reunite the successful combination from Road America 2011 of PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports, Butch, and Rudy Junco, Butch's co-driver for the majority of the 2012 season.
Leitzinger shared the 1999 United States Road Racing Championship (USRRC) championship with teammate Elliott Forbes-Robinson and won the famed Rolex 24 at Daytona: twice with Dyson Racing (1997 & 1999), and once in a Nissan 300ZX (1994) co-driven with Scott Pruett, Steve Millen and Paul Gentilozzi.
At the beginning of their involvement in ALMS, Leitzinger and the Dyson team fielded Ford-powered Riley & Scott cars but switched to the newer MG-Lola EX257 midway through the 2002 season. Dyson Racing achieved its first ALMS victory in the car when Leitzinger and James Weaver scored an overall win at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California. This also marked the first time that an LMP675 (now called LMP2) class car scored an overall win in an ALMS race.
Leitzinger ran three NASCAR Winston Cup races at Watkins Glen with a best finish of 12th in 1995. On June 24, 2007, Leitzinger ran the NASCAR Nextel Cup race at Infineon Raceway in the Bill Davis Racing-owned #23 Caterpillar Toyota and finished 28th.
Leitzinger lives on a working 1840's farm in Rebersburg, Pennsylvania with his wife, Kirsten, and their daughter. He earned a Bachelor of Science in business management from Penn State University in 1991. He is the son of IMSA driver, Bob Leitzinger.
Complete 24 Hours of Le Mans results
|1997||David Price Racing|| Andy Wallace
|Panoz Esperante GTR-1||GT1||236||DNF||DNF|
|1999||Panoz Motorsports|| David Brabham
|Panoz LMP-1 Roadster-S-Élan||LMP||336||7th||6th|
|2000||Team Cadillac|| Franck Lagorce
|Cadillac Northstar LMP||LMP900||291||21st||11th|
|2001||Team Bentley|| Andy Wallace
Eric van de Poele
|Bentley EXP Speed 8||LMGTP||306||3rd||1st|
|2002||Team Bentley|| Andy Wallace
Eric van de Poele
|Bentley EXP Speed 8||LMGTP||362||4th||1st|
|2003||Risi Competizione|| Shane Lewis
|Ferrari 360 Modena GT||GT||138||DNF||DNF|
- Butch Leitzinger Biography, Dyson Racing
- Butch Leitzinger is the Class of American Racing, Speed Channel editorial July 8, 2005
- Butch Leitzinger enjoys racing's family atmosphere, motorsport.com, April 1, 2004
- The Complete Driver: Butch Leitzinger of Dyson Racing, RaceFamily Motorsports