Dyson Racing earned two entries into this year’s 80th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans by winning the 2011 American Le Mans Series championship and the Michelin Green X Challenge. In January, the team accepted the ACO’s invitation to participate at Le Mans contingent on being able to put together a fully competitive package without compromising their primary 2012 goal of defending their five ALMS championships.
“We fully intended to participate in this year’s Le Mans event,” said Chris Dyson, Vice President and Sporting Director of Dyson Racing. “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, therefore, we are returning the two invitations to the ACO. We are excited about going to Le Mans in the future, 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.”
“Dyson Racing has been in existence for almost four decades,” noted team principal Rob Dyson. “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. We are very grateful to the ACO and IMSA
for the automatic entries and to Lola and Status GP for their eagerness to work with Dyson Racing. 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 through all of our history.”
“We fully understand Dyson Racing’s decision to return its two entries for the Le Mans 24 Hours and, although it is disappointing that we will not be required to support the team on this occasion, the two organizations have gained enormous respect for each other and we hope to collaborate in the future,” said Mark Gallagher on behalf of Status GP. “There has been enormous interest from drivers in the opportunity to race a competitive Lola LMP1 car with Dyson Racing, but the sponsorship market place requires further time to exploit such a world class event, making this commercial decision both logical and responsible.”
The team is full-speed-ahead on the defense of their 2011 championships. They have been at the top of the ALMS championship leaderboard for thirteen consecutive months. They won first place ALMS points at the season-opening 12 Hours of Sebring and placed second and third in P1 at this weekend’s Long Beach ALMS race. Michael Marsal and Eric Lux successfully debuted their #20 Lola B11/66-Mazda with a third place P1 finish. They will race in the remaining five ALMS sprint races this year. “Michael and Eric did a great job at Long Beach with an inaugural podium to their credit. It was good to get our second car back on the track and we are hopeful of adding a third car for the latter half of the season,” said Chris Dyson.
Joining Dyson and Smith next month at the season’s third race, the six-hour American Le Mans Monterey, will be Johnny Mowlem. Mowlem has class victories in the 12 Hours of Sebring, the 24 Hours of Daytona and class podiums at the Petit Le Mans, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the 1,000 km Nurburgring. “Johnny is a winning driver who has a deep and competitively diversified resume,” said Chris Dyson. “He will be a natural addition to our team. Johnny will also be racing with us at the four- hour enduro at Virginia International Raceway in September and will 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 all last year and as Sebring and Long Beach showed, this year promises to be even better.”