SEBRING, FL, MAR. 15 — Thetford / Norcold Dyson Racing`s Chris Dyson, Chad Block and Didier de Radigues took their MG-Lola to a rewarding victory in LMP675 division in Saturday`s Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring.
Afflicted by a broken upright in the race`s first hour, the Dyson trio drove a solid and relatively trouble-free race to finish ahead of Intersport Racing`s similar Lola chassis.
Chris Dyson was ecstastic after taking the team`s first ALMS victory in a week that had been filled with nagging mechanical woes and limited track time. “Our guys did such a phenomenal job all week. They worked their tails off and it is great to give them the win. Max Crawford and his crew came in this week and it boosted everyone. There is no way we could have done it without them. I am also very happy for Pat Smith, who wanted to take a win at Sebring before he called it a day. It is not the overall victory that we had hoped for, but it is the next best thing.7quot
The team`s primary #16 machine was felled by a power steering rack failure just three laps into the event. James Weaver had qualified the car he was scheduled to share with Andy Wallace and Butch Leitzinger an impressive third, and the team had looked forward to a shot at the overall victory after pacing the field in several sessions this week. It was disappointing, but Weaver refused to be downbeat.
“We repaired the steering rack and I went out and ran a stint, and the car was flying,” the Englishman said after the team decided to retire the car. “If you look at the times we were running, you would have to say that the car has certainly got the pace, which is encouraging. ” In his short mid-afternoon run Saturday, Weaver was circulating in times nearly a full second faster than the rest of the field.
Looking toward the rest of the season, the team will continue its Goodyear tire development program at the Florida circuit on Monday and Tuesday before returning home to Poughkeepsie, NY.