Dyson Joins RML for Le Mans 2009
of this weekend’s official ACO Le Mans Series
test at the Paul Ricard circuit at Le Castellet
in southern France, RML AD Group is pleased to
confirm that Chris Dyson will be joining the team’s
driver line-up for this year’s Le Mans 24
driver and Sporting Director of Dyson Racing in
the American Le Mans Series, Chris will be partnering
regular RML drivers Mike Newton and Thomas Erdos
in the team’s Lola-Mazda B09/86 Coupé
for the two-day test, starting Sunday 8th March.
“I am really thrilled to be returning to
Le Mans with such a great team,” says Dyson.
“RML has set the standard for LMP2 teams
in Europe and I am hopeful that Mike, Tommy and
I can take RML back to the top step of the podium
at Le Mans this year.” RML won the LMP2
category in the Le Mans 24 Hours for the first
time in 2005, with Warren Hughes as third driver,
and then again in 2006 with Andy Wallace.
Racing was founded 26 years ago by Rob Dyson,
father to Chris, and has been a prominent competitor
in the ALMS since 1999. Over the last two seasons
Dyson Racing campaigned a pair of Porsche RS Spyders,
finishing third in the 2008 ALMS P2 team championship,
fifth and sixth in the driver’s championship,
and helping Porsche to the manufacturer’s
title. One month after RML announced a new deal
with Mazda for the supply of engines for its Lola
coupé, Dyson Racing confirmed that it too
would be running two Mazda-powered Lolas in 2009.
Chris Dyson join the team for the Le Mans 24 hour
race is really positive news,” states RML
Team Manager Phil Barker. “Dyson Racing
have been testing their own Lola-Mazda LMP2 Coupé
in the USA, so Chris will already be familiar
with the car, but he also brings with him his
considerable experience from the fiercely competitive
American Le Mans Series.’
year-old Chris joins an established partnership
that has been together for six consecutive seasons.
Mike Newton and Thomas Erdos have been co-driving
since 2003, taking the Le Mans Series LMP2 title
in 2007, but Erdos is confident that Chris Dyson
will fit in easily. “We’ve had several
different driver combinations in the past, and
it’s worked well for us every time. Chris
has been racing competitively for many years now,
and everything I hear and know about him is very
positive. It’s also excellent that he’s
part of the Lola-Mazda programme in the States.
The fact that he’s familiar with the car
is hugely valuable to us, and he will have plenty
of time between now and Le Mans in June to gain
a better understanding of the chassis. It will
be good to welcome him to the team this weekend,
and I’m looking forward to working with
of AD Group, Mike Newton, shares that optimism.
“In many respects, Chris is the perfect
addition to our squad. For several years now we’ve
been running near-parallel racing programmes on
each side of the Atlantic. While RML was racing
the MG Lola AER in Europe, Dyson Racing was developing
a similar chassis in the States. As we move forwards
into a new era with Mazda, so too does Dyson.
We have shared history and experience, working
on very similar projects for many years, so I’m
now looking forward to working closely with Chris
in the run-up to Le Mans. It’s a very exciting
since Mazda began racing, endurance racing in
general and Le Mans in particular has been a key
element. Our historic win in 1991 still resonates
with fans and Mazda employees around the world.
We’re thrilled to have RML and other teams
running the Mazda MZR-R at Le Mans this year.
We’re also pleased to see the great cooperation
between Dyson Racing and RML. This shared wisdom
should help both teams,” noted Robert Davis,
Senior Vice President, Product Development and
Quality, and the man responsible for Mazda’s
North American motorsports operations under the
MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development banner.
am very thankful to Mazda, whose support for their
LMP2 program worldwide made this opportunity happen
for me,” concludes Chris. “It is a
distinct honour to be representing Mazda at both
Le Mans and in the ALMS championship this year.”
click on any of the images above to access higher
resolution versions. Photo credit: Marcus
Background on Chris Dyson & Dyson Racing
season Chris Dyson will be partnering Briton Guy
Smith in the #16 BP Dyson Racing Lola-Mazda B09/86
in the American Le Mans Series. The team’s
second car will be shared by Butch Leitzinger
and Marino Franchiiti.
team unveiled a new livery for the Lola-Mazda
at the official Sebring test in February, and
will debut the car at the Sebring 12 Hours, March
18-21. In 2008 Chris finished third in LMP2 at
Sebring. This year’s 12-hour event will
be the 100th race since the ALMS was inaugurated
in 1978, Chris has been involved in motorsport
since he was a child. Dyson Racing was founded
by Chris’s father, Team Principal Rob Dyson,
in 1985. Chris not only co-drives one of the team’s
two Lola-Mazda coupés, but is also Vice
President and Sporting Director.
to finishing third in the race for the LMP2 team
title in the 2008 ALMS, Dyson Racing concluded
the 2007 season as runners-up in LMP2, with Chris
Dyson and Guy Smith claiming fourth in the individual
driver’s championship. Chris finished second
in the ALMS LMP1 championship in 2005, up from
fourth in the previous season. In 2003 Chris won
the ALMS LMP 675 championship with four wins,
including the class at Sebring. In sixty-four
starts in the ALMS, he has sixty-four top ten
finishes and twenty-six podiums to his credit.
has raced at Le Mans once before. In 2004 he joined
Jan Lammers and Katsumoto Kaneishi in the Racing
for Holland Dome-Judd LMP1 to finish seventh overall;
the highest-placed American.
information please contact:
Manwaring, Sponsorship & Marketing Director
Telephone: +44 (0)1933 402440
AD Group: Pauline
Norstrom, Director of Worldwide Marketing.
Telephone: +44 (0)1928 706 449