POUGHKEEPSIE, NY March 9, 2006 – In fifty-three editions of the 12 Hours of Sebring, 3,291 cars have raced a total of 2,189,821 miles. In preparation for the American Le Mans season opening 12 Hours of Sebring on March 18, Dyson Racing has tested three times, for a total of approximately 1,100 miles on their two new AER- powered Lola B06/10 race cars. Yes, a small fraction, but the important number for the team is 670 miles: last week at Road Atlanta, the team did 670 virtually trouble-free miles. The engine cowling never came off once for anything engine-related.
The first public outing for the new car and engine was the American Le Mans Winter Test at Sebring January 23 – 25. The car had not turned a wheel before being delivered to Florida. The first part of the three-day test was devoted to basic system and installation checks, evaluating the aero package and doing long runs to make sure all the operating temperatures stabilized out. There were no major problems and by end of the test, the #16 car was starting to be pushed to it capabilities.
It was decided at the end of the test that the second car would stay in England and the development from the tests would be incorporated into the #20 car at the Lola factory. That included information from the second test back at Sebring the second week of February which targeted continued engine development and installation refinement. It was a strategy that proved itself with last week’s successful test at Road Atlanta.
“These three tests have certainly been energizing for all of us on the team and the drivers,” said Chris Dyson. “The results last week were the culmination of months of hard work for the guys. Road Atlanta was a big step forward for us. Guy Smith and I left very impressed with the car. It is well suited for the Michelin tires, has more downforce, is less pitch sensitive, and the AER engine is especially drivable. The car and engine ran like a train the whole test. Lola and AER have produced a fantastic product.”
It is the early days for a brand-new car, but we have to be cautiously optimistic for the 12 Hours of Sebring. We like our chances for the year. The car is so much better in so many different areas, and this is only the beginning.”
“This year has the potential to be best year yet for the ALMS,” said team principal Rob Dyson. “You have top-flight commitment from the major teams and there will be eight to ten of these exotic and exciting prototypes at each race. Audi and Porsche and Dyson Racing each have two brand new cars. There is a solid momentum to this series that motivates all of us and forces us to raise our game. It will produce great competition and an unequaled show for the fans. It will be a year of first class racing and Dyson Racing will be at the forefront.”