Dyson Racing Endures, Enjoys Big Points Day At Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
Like Disneyland, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca has been a magical kingdom of sorts to Dyson Racing. At last year’s September ModSpace Monterey race, the team wrapped up four championships, including the Engine Manufacturer Championship for Mazda and the driver’s title for Chris Dyson and Guy Smith. Smith won the pole for that 2011 event, set fastest race lap and he and Chris led a whopping 60 percent of the six-hour race.
Dyson Racing has a knack for overcoming obstacles that sideline other teams then rallying for quality finishes. Their tenacity was on display at the six-hour American Le Mans Monterey Presented by Patron race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
The team’s adrenalin started pumping at the five-hour mark when they had to take the car back to the garage to repair a debris damaged front diffuser, which was cutting off cooling air to the radiator. With that putting them down the running order, they used the last part of the race testing various tire combinations on their ModSpace/G-OIL Lola Mazda coupe.
At the drop of the checkered flag Dyson Racing had rallied and took home second place P1 points. “I am happy for Mazda and AER to get another solid six hour finish with no reliability problems. We will take the points and go to Lime Rock only four points down in the championship,” said Chris Dyson.
Johnny Mowlem joined the team for the six hour enduro that has moved back to its traditional spring time running. Johnny is considered one of racing’s best-versed drivers. He has class victories in the 12 Hours of Sebring, the 24 Hours of Daytona and class podiums at the Petit Le Mans, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the 1,000 km Nurburgring and will be driving with Chris and Guy in the longer ALMS enduros this year plus assisting in the ongoing development of the new Lola-Mazda. “The first part of my stint I used to get my hands around the car and during the second part I was starting to feel comfortable with the car. I could run 1:17’s and 1:18’s and was happy with that pace. It was comfortable for the track conditions at the time and the only car faster than us was the Muscle Milk car. I am disappointed for the Dyson Racing team since we should have been second overall. At least we got second place P1 points which is good for the championship but more work needs to be done before the next race.”
Eight-year Dyson Racing veteran Guy Smith echoed the sentiment. “We have been out of sorts with the car during this weekend and are still looking for more speed. I was in rally mode during my time in the car for the last two hours of the race. Muscle Milk drove a flawless race and our hats are off to Greg Pickett and his team.”
“We struggled for pace today and pretty much all through the weekend and I think today was definitely a character building day for the whole organization,” commented Dyson. “We have our work cut out for us in the next eight weeks to be in a better competitive position for Lime Rock and to turn it around and to get back on top. We are going to spend that time doing some pretty extensive testing and looking at some items on the car that have been problematic since we got first got the car. Ultimately we will take both the negatives and the positives from this weekend and learn from them knowing what we have to work on for performance.”
The Monterey race was the third of the 10 American Le Mans Series races on the 2012 schedule so it’s early in the season and the series will take a two-month break for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. You can bet the team, currently second in class, will have its A-Game firmly in place eyeing the top of the podium when racing resumes July 7th at Lime Rock Park, Dyson Racing’s home track.