POUGHKEEPSIE, NY (November 29, 2017) – A Lola B09/86 prototype racer that Dyson Racing campaigned to a pair of championships in the American Le Mans Series has found a new home in the Racing in New York State exhibit at the Saratoga Automobile Museum. The exhibit is a major part of the museum and honors through the display of racing cars and significant artifacts the history of motorsport in New York State.
“We are pleased to have this remarkable example of high-tech racing on permanent display,” said Ron Hedger, a member of the museum’s board of trustees, who oversees the Racing in New York State exhibit and related programming. “The Dyson team has made its home in New York’s Hudson Valley for more than four decades, racing regularly at Watkins Glen and representing the state in races throughout the United States and abroad.”
Hedger also noted that the Dyson family has for many years supported educational, cultural and historic projects in New York State.
Dyson Racing founder and CEO Rob Dyson and VP for Motorsports Chris Dyson spoke this past Saturday before more than 250 attendees as part of the day-long Lost Speedways gathering, the museum’s largest annual program.
“It was great to see how many racing enthusiasts turned out on a holiday weekend to celebrate the broad range of racing in New York,” said Rob Dyson. “Chris and I enjoyed answering questions from the audience before and during the formal program. All of us, Chris and me and everyone back at the shop in Poughkeepsie, are happy that this car, one of the most significant ones in our team’s history, will have a new role in celebrating racing in New York State.”
Dyson noted that before moving into its current high-tech facility in Poughkeepsie, for many years the team based its racing efforts in a shop located in former steering wheel factory in the same city.
Chris Dyson, who in 2010 drove this Lola to a historic victory in the American Le Mans Series race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and other identical team cars to a pair of championships, spoke about the stunning performance of the car and the physical demands it makes on its drivers. “Driving a car like this one for a single lap, much less for several hours at a time as we do in endurance sports car prototype racing, requires the highest level of fitness. You regularly experience up to 3.5 Gs in braking and cornering. For every hour behind the wheel, I spend ten hours a week in the gym working on both strength and endurance.”
Constructed by Lola Cars in Huntingdon, England, the shape of the B09/86’s body in conjunction with the rear wing and diffusers produced approximately 4,000 pounds of downforce, enabling the Lola to achieve phenomenal braking and cornering performance, and theoretically for the 1800-pound to drive at high speed on an upside-down road. Power came from a Mazda MZR-R aluminum-alloy, 2.0-liter turbocharged in-line four-cylinder engine. The MZR-R, which was developed by Advanced Engine Research, Ltd. of Baselton, UK produced over 500 horsepower at turbo boost levels limited by the series rules.
In 2011 the Dyson team notched overall race wins with the car at both Lime Rock Park and the Grand Prix of Baltimore, with drivers Chris Dyson and Guy Smith claiming the series driving championship as well. Dyson Racing won the team championship for the series along with claiming Michelin Green X Challenge honors for energy efficiency and the development of isobutanol fuel.
Mingling with the crowd in front of the Lola before the formal part of the program, Rob and Chris fielded several questions regarding Dyson Racing’s future plans. Following the 2014 and 2015 seasons, when the team fielded a pair of entries in the Pirelli World Challenge on behalf of Bentley Motors, Dyson Racing has taken a two-year hiatus from premier-level road racing. As a driver, Chris Dyson has focused on racing sprint cars and midgets, while the team has undertaken high-end racing car restoration and tended to Rob’s growing collection of historic Indy cars and other vintage automobiles.
“We’ve kept on the core of our full-time staff,” said Chris Dyson. “We’ve evaluated a number of opportunities, looking for one that would make sense for us to pursue. We are currently close to making a decision regarding a fairly expansive 2018 program that will involve at least one of America’s significant road-racing series.”