POUGHKEEPSIE, NY January 18, 2008 – Thetford / Norcold Dyson Racing today is pleased to announce that it will campaign two Porsche RS Spyders in the full 2008 American Le Mans Series Championship.
Chris Dyson and Guy Smith will co-drive the team’s #16 machine, while Butch Leitzinger will be joined by Marino Franchitti in the #20 entry. The team finished runner-up in the 2007 ALMS LMP2 team championship and third and fourth in the driver’s title in its first year of running the RS Spyder. With a full year’s experience with the car and an extensive off-season testing program, the team is confident of an even stronger 2008 effort.
“We ended 2007 on a very competitive level and our winter outings have been encouraging,” team principal Rob Dyson said. “Porsche’s ongoing development and support of the Spyder program puts us in a very favorable position for this year. Momentum and continuity will only make us that much more competitive in 2008.”
Franchitti’s strong races in a partial season in the ALMS last year was a strong factor in his joining the Dyson team. “We have watched Marino’s progress last year in the ALMS and over the years in sportscars and he possesses the ingredients we look for when we evaluate a driver’s strengths,” remarked team principal Rob Dyson. “Dyson Racing derives it strength from team work and Marino should fit right into the atmosphere.”
Franchitti also brings a winning history with Porsche to the team. He drove for Porsche Cars Great Britain in 2001, winning the British GTO championship with eight wins and three seconds.
“This is really a dream come true for me,” Franchitti said. “When I first came over to America in 2002, I was introduced to Butch Leitzinger, James Weaver and Rob Dyson and they were all very friendly to me. Butch and I worked together in 2005 at Crawford at the 24 Hours of Daytona. There is such history with Dyson Racing. They have won so many different races and championships in North American sports cars. They are an American racing institution and I have to thank Rob and Chris and everybody on the team for this opportunity.”
The team will attend the upcoming official ALMS test at Sebring from January 28-30 in advance of the Sebring 12 Hours on March 15, the first race of the 12-race ALMS championship.
Dyson Racing is North America’s premier sportscar team. Since 1985, the team has scored sixteen team and driver championships and sixty-one wins at the highest level of prototype racing.