Dyson Racing has renewed its long-term partnership with Mazda for the 2013 American Le Mans Series season as it prepares to recapture the P1 crown it won in 2011. The #16 Thetford/RACER Mazda Lola entry with Chris Dyson and Guy Smith will be Mazda-powered for the fifth year. Mazda won its first P1 victory at Mid-Ohio in 2010 and the manufacturer’s championship the following year. Last year, the team bookended the season with first place ALMS P1 points at the 12 Hours of Sebring and the 1,000-mile Petit Le Mans Powered by Mazda, and won at Road America in the closest ever overall finish in ALMS history.
“As we look forward to the unified world of road racing in 2014, we still have a full-season of great ALMS action in 2013,” said John Doonan, Director Mazda Motorsports. “We’re happy that the Dyson team will be racing their Mazda MZR-R powered Lola for what we anticipate will be the final chapter for this car and engine. From Sebring to Petit Le Mans, and our favorite stop at Mazda Raceway, we look forward to adding additional race wins into the Mazda logbook. I’m sure the Dyson team will be going all out to recapture the magic of their 2011 season when they brought home the drivers, team, and manufacturers championship for Mazda.”
“We are heading into our fifth year with Mazda and any relationship that has that kind of tenure is to be celebrated,” noted Chris Dyson, Vice President and Sporting Director. “We are fortunate to have their support and it has been a hugely beneficial relationship. AER have been working on some nice engine upgrades over the winter and their work on the Mazda program has been outstanding. We are looking forward to putting together another championship effort for them.”
Guy Smith returns for his ninth year with Dyson Racing. The 2005 12 Hours of Sebring was his first race with the team. “I’m really excited about driving for Dyson Racing again this year: they are ultra-professional but also a friendly operation. It should be a good year,” stated Smith. “I tested some developments at the test at Sebring last month which were a step in the right direction and we have some engine tweaks coming later in the season which will help us. It will be competitive with us and the Muscle Milk team being joined by the Swiss-based Rebellion team, who I raced for at Le Mans in 2010 and ’11. Sebring is always a huge challenge every year but it is a brilliant race – it epitomizes what sports car racing is all about. The track at almost four miles in length is long, while its bumpy and fast nature, combined by a high ambient temperature, makes it a physically demanding race for the driver and puts the car through a real stern test.”
“The biggest credit I can give to Guy it that he is every bit as motivated and is faster than when we started driving together almost ten years ago,” said Dyson. “All you can ever ask from your teammate is that they give 100 percent and with Guy, that is never in doubt. Guy is incredibly supportive as a teammate. He is a team player and when the chips are down, he knows how to get it done. Everyone knows in pit lane when he comes in from a race stint or a qualifying run, he has given it everything he has. There are never excuses, just performance. And that is why we’ve worked so well together.”
2013 marks the thirtieth year in professional sports car racing for Dyson Racing and the twenty-sixth for the team at Sebring. Butch Leitzinger will be joining Chris Dyson and Guy Smith in the #16 entry for the sixty-first annual 12 Hours of Sebring and the team is working on running the #20 Dyson entry in subsequent races of the 2013 season.