SEBRING, FL March 21, 2010 – Over two million competition miles and thirty-four hundred drivers in fifty-eight years: there is a reason the 12 Hours of Sebring is America’s greatest sports car race. Dyson Racing added to the Florida track’s history book Saturday with a third place finish in LMP2 with its BP Castrol Mazda Lola coupe driven by Chris Dyson, Guy Smith and Andy Meyrick. Going back to their first race here in 1987, Dyson Racing has eight podiums in seventeen races at the 12 Hours.
And no race on America’s oldest road racing circuit would be complete without overcoming the unexpected. Chris Dyson started the Dunlop-shod entry, passing the second place qualifier at the start. Twenty minutes into the race, sensor related electrical problems sidelined the car, requiring a time-consuming trip to the transporter. Dyson commented that he was “very pleased with today. Unfortunately, we lost some time early on so we did not figure for the win, but after it got back on track, the car ran like a train. I am proud of the team for fighting back today – we really needed to come out of this with points to figure in the championship. The Dunlop tires were exceptional and I am very pleased with the gains made with the engine over the off-season.”
Guy Smith set the #16 car’s fastest lap in the race. Smith noted that “this just underlines the hard work that AER put into the Mazda engine over the winter. The engine ran flawlessly on the isobutanol fuel, and there are a lot of good things from this race for us to build on for the rest of this year.”
Driving two double stints, Andy Meyrick takes home a podium finish from his first race in America. “It was a tough start to the race, but it showed the spirit of the team. I think it does show what we will be bringing to the table for the rest of the season.” Meyrick will next be partnering in the BP sponsored entry at the third race of the American Le Mans season at Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca.
Perhaps the best summary of this first race of the year came seven hours into the race when Chris Dyson got on the radio and said, “The car is really good. I have to hand it to you guys; you have given me a heck of a race car. It is a pleasure to drive.”
The ALMS next travels cross-country to the streets of southern California for the Long Beach Grand Prix April 16 – 17.
Mazda is the brand choice of road racers across North America. On any given weekend, there are more Mazdas on the road-race-tracks of America than any other brand. You will see MX-5 Miata, RX-8, MAZDA3, MAZDA6, RX-7 and other vintage Mazda models because every Mazda has the Soul of a Sports Car.