POUGHKEEPSIE, NY, JUNE 20, 2004 — Dyson Racing`s first weekend in the Toyota Atlantic Championship confirmed that in joining the series four races into the season the team was jumping in at the deep end of the pool. Chris Dyson finished 12th and 14th in the Thetford / Norcold entry in the Saturday and Sunday sprint events, but Atlantic Project Manager Michael White still felt that the weekend was a success.
“To be candid, this is about what we were expecting for our first time out,” White said, noting that Dyson`s lap times had improved steadily through out the weekend as the team became more familiar with how to set up its new Swift .014 chassis. “We are the new kids on the block here, and we knew that it would take more than a couple of days of testing to get the car right.”
Peter Weston, the team`s engineer, added that detail changes in the series` technical regulations over the winter made a lot of the existing setup data obsolete. “We went from being five seconds a lap off the pace in our first practice session on Friday, to Chris running race laps on Sunday within two seconds of the best times. I`m okay with that amount of progress. We will just need to keep our noses to the grindstone and I think we will move up the grid.”
Pressed on the subject, Dyson, the 2003 American Le Mans Series LMP 675 champion, said he was “not dissatisfied” with the weekend. “It is not much fun running around at the back of the field,” he admitted. “That said, we knew that this is a very competitive series, and if we were going to have to start somewhere. These cars want to be driven quite differently from our Lola sportscar. In the Lola attacking a corner is about commitment and keeping the turbo boost up. The Swift has much less power, and you have to be a lot more gentle with the car on corner entry. And we have found that setup is crucial with these cars. You can not carry the car; if it is not right, you have to make it right. Then you can drive it.
“I am very impressed with the caliber of the drivers and the teams in the Toyota Atlantic Championship, and I am looking forward to doing as many of these races as our team`s commitment to the ALMS will permit. I think that with some more hard work we can get competitive, despite not running a full-time schedule.”