MONTEREY, CA September 17, 2011 – Dyson Racing won the 2011 American Le Mans Series LMP1 Drivers and Team championships today at the ModSpace Monterey race with Chris Dyson and Guy Smith taking home the season’s top honors. In addition, Mazda won the Engine Manufacturer title and Dunlop took home the Tire Championship with one race to go in the ALMS season. “I have been doing this a long time and have won a number of championships in the past three decades,” said Rob Dyson, “But these today are very, very special.”
Chris Dyson, Guy Smith and Jay Cochran finished second in the race in their #16 G-OIL ModSpace/Construct Corps Lola Mazda. They led 149 laps of the 248-lap race. Guy Smith added the fastest race lap to the record book to go with his pole yesterday. The #20 Oryx Dyson Racing entry with Humaid Al Masood, Steven Kane and Butch Leitzinger came in third, leading 35 laps in the course of the event. Between the two entries, Dyson Racing led over 70% of the six-hour event.
Al Masaaod had a competitive stint in the 20 car battling the 007 Aston Martin. “The tires came in well and I had a good pace and felt very good about my time in the car. For me, it was a good benchmark to be mixing it up with experienced drivers in good cars.” Leitzinger shared the same satisfaction with his run: “It was great fun, especially in the beginning when there were four of us in a very tight pack racing very hard. It is satisfying as a driver when you have a car that handles this well and everyone is racing fairly and competitively.”
“This is a day to be savored,” said Chris Dyson. “I am really thrilled with the team. It is a great accomplishment to have the team back on top. We have had the equipment everywhere this year with our Lola Mazda and our Dunlop tires and the AER engines have been strong all year. It has really been a culmination of a three-year program with Mazda. They have shown unwavering support through it all. We could not be happier to reward them with a championship today.”
“Our guys back in the shop and the guys on the road have shown incredible application this year. And Lola has been pushing the edge on the development – we have not sat still once this year. I won my first championship in 2003 but think I was too young to enjoy it and thought things were going to come easily but have had the last eight years to learn the lesson that this is not something that comes around without a lot of hard work from a lot of people. I am so happy for Guy. He has been my partner through all this and he is like my brother. When you get down to it, it really is a family affair and our team is as much a family as it is a team.”
Guy commented, “I would just like to say a big thank you to the Dyson Racing Team and to Rob and to Chris, my co driver since 2005. We have worked very hard and had a lot of highs and lows through our time driving together. This year has been phenomenal and Greg Pickett’s Muscle Milk team has been great competition. We have enjoyed every battle with them. They are true sportsmen. The Mazda engine has been reliable and strong all year and the Dunlop tires – some would say it was a gamble two years ago to go with them, but they have proven this year to be the tire of choice. G-OIL came on board this year and we are pleased to give them their first championship along with ModSpace and Construct Corps. We are very happy for everyone who has made this happen. This is truly a team championship.”
John Doonan, Director of Motorsports, Mazda North American Operations, said, “It is a very special day when you can win three championships (driver, team, and manufacturer) at your home track on the same day. We`re thrilled for Chris and Guy and the entire Dyson team, and appreciative of the countless hours of hard work and effort from everyone at Mazda, Dyson Racing, and AER. This was the first IMSA manufacturer’s championship for Mazda since the RX-7 won the GTO title 20 years ago. The Mazda battle cry of “Never Give Up” rang loud today.”
Team Manager Michael White said he “Could not be more proud of what our team has accomplished this year. Everyone within our organization has worked tirelessly to realize this goal and they`ve all played like Champions. But without a doubt this wouldn`t have happened without the heroic efforts put forth by Andrew Saunders, Dr. Mark Ellis, Eloi Revereau, Stuart Parmenter and everyone at Advanced Engine Research. Thanks to David Scotney, and Steven Charsley and Lola Cars International for a car that never let the team down. Most of all, thanks to Rob Dyson for giving all of us the opportunity to be here and accomplish so much.”