Image courtesy Dyson Racing
It was with great reluctance that Dyson Racing, who earned two coveted entries to this year's 80th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans by virtue of taking the 2011 American Le Mans Series LMP1 championship and Michelin Green X Challenge, had to decline the opportunity to contest this classic summer endurance race.
In January, the team accepted the ACO's invitation to participate - contingent on being able to put together a fully competitive package without compromising the primary goal of defending their five ALMS championships. The partnerships just haven't come together for Dyson Racing, so they'll concentrate on achieving success at home.
"We fully intended to participate in this year's Le Mans event," noted Dyson Racing vice president and sporting director Chris Dyson. "Following six months of intense effort, we have not been able to assemble the financial resources necessary to complement the technical and organizational assets we already had in place with Lola, Dunlop and Status Grand Prix. With heavy hearts, we are returning the two invitations to the ACO.
"We are excited about going to Le Mans in the future," Dyson continued, "but unfortunately, the economic timing did not work out this year. We and our partners at Mazda, Lola and Dunlop, along with G-OIL and ModSpace will continue our focus on repeating as ALMS champions."
Rob Dyson, team principal noted the team has been in successful existence for nearly 40 years. "I raced at Le Mans in 1986 and consider it one of the highlights of my life. Chris has also raced there and it is hard not to argue that it is one of motorsport's most iconic races. We will continue to work towards racing there in the future," he confirmed. "One of the hallmarks of our team is that we do not embark on a program unless we have all the resources to be fully competitive. That has been a constant throughout all of our history."
Dyson Racing have been atop the ALMS championship leader board for 13 consecutive months. They won first place ALMS points at the season opening 60th anniversary Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring, placing second and third in LMP1 during last weekend's Long Beach ALMS race.
Michael Marsal and Eric Lux successfully debuted the second Dyson LMP1 car, the No. 20 Lola B11/Mazda with a third place class finish and will race in the remaining five ALMS sprint races scheduled for the 2012 season. "MIchael and Eric did a great job at Long Beach with an inaugural podium to their credit," said Chris Dyson. "It was good to get our second car back on the track and we are hopefully of adding a third car for the latter half of the season."
Last week Dyson Racing announced veteran Johnny Mowlem joins Chris Dyson and Guy Smith next month in the season's third ALMS race, a six-hour contest at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Mowlem has class victories at Sebring, the Rolex 24 at Daytona and class podiums at Petit Le Mans, the 24 Hours of Le Mans at the 1,000 KM of Nurburgring.
"Johnny is a winning driver who has a deep and competitively diversified resume," Chris Dyson noted. "He will be a natural addition to our team and will also race with us at the four-hour enduro at Virginia International Raceway in September; he'll be part of our ongoing car development program. We are excited about our expanded effort and the 2012 season. We had a great battle with our friends at Muscle Milk (winners at Long Beach with an HPD LMP1 entry) all last year and, as Sebring and Long Beach showed, this year promises to be even better."