Off Season Changes

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POUGHKEEPSIE, NY, MAR. 2, 2005 — The term “off-season” is a misnomer. A better definition might be: “A short period of time where you finally get to do what you wanted to do six months ago while condensing a season`s worth of development in a few short months.”

How productive has the off season been for Thetford/Norcold Dyson Racing? “The number one change is the tires,” says Rob Dyson as the team readies their two AER powered Lolas for the American Le Mans season opener at the Mobil 12 Hours of Sebring March 19. “The improved grip, consistency and directional stability of the tires suit our car well. The differential in performance we have with the Michelins will be a key factor for us. This will allow us to take the fight to the Audis on a regular basis.”

The improved grip will be partnered with the increased power, low end torque, and reliability that AER has developed in the turbocharged four cylinder engine. “It is an amazing power plant,” says Andy Wallace, co-driver of the # 16 AER powered Lola. “Let us say you have 500 horsepower, than you have 125 horsepower per cylinder which is more than a Formula One car produces! It is a light engine, which is a plus, since you do not have that big mass behind you trying to overtake you wherever you go.”

But the number one component and secret of the team`s success has not changed: stability. Driver James Weaver has been with the team 19 years; Andy Wallace and Butch Leitzinger have driven for Dyson Racing eleven years. Also in the eleven year club is Randall Kelsey, the team manager. “There has been very little turn over in the team over the years,” says Rob Dyson. “We have got terrific stability and great evolution. We have got guys who have been with us a long time, who have evolved with us, and we have been very lucky in that respect.”

“In many ways, last year was frustrating for us,” sums up Chris Dyson. “We had a fast car (six out of nine poles), but the results did not reflect the car we had or the team`s effort. This year the package is more refined and a lot of the outstanding issues have been addressed. We should be competitive every single weekend. That means we can fight for the championship and that is what we are here for.”

As Satchel Paige once said, “Do not look back. Something might be gaining on you.”

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