Nancy Knapp Schilke, ALMS correspondent
Eric Lux and Michael Marsal have been selected to contest the American Le Mans Series shorter endurance races for the Dyson Racing #20 Lola B09/86-Mazda. Their first race will be at Long Beach street circuit on April 14th. The series LM P1 championship team of Chris Dyson and Guy Smith attempt to repeat their 2011 title.
While Dyson and Smith will race the full season, Lux and Marsal events will be 2 hour and 45 minutes or less. The second Mazda also ran a partial season last year.
“We welcome Michael and Eric to the team,” said Chris Dyson, Vice President and Sporting Director of Dyson Racing. “They are quick and focused drivers. They possess the commitment needed to be successful both on and off the track.”
Long Beach can’t come soon enough.
Lux established himself as a driver to keep an eye on back in 2005 when he was one of the racers who joined the Grand-Am Sports Car Challenge series at the age of 16 and along with his co-driver; he ended the year with eight victories. The following year he and his teammates took the GS class win at Daytona and set a new record at the age of 17 and eight months of age. Over the years, Lux has raced stock-cars’, historic sports cars and continued to be one of the top drivers in endurance racing.
Dyson is known as a team who keeps an eye out on up and coming racers and when Lux ran in the ALMS last year in the LM Prototype Challenge class with Genoa Racing, his four podiums and two wins earned him the championship.
Dyson said, “Eric did a superb job to capture the LMPC title last year. I was keeping an eye on him and in the midst of a tough title fight, he was able to match or better his rivals and keep his composure down the stretch. We like his approach. There are some drivers that have a built-in aura of success and Michael and Eric have that. They will be great additions to the grid under our banner.”
Lux is looking forward to his step up into the fastest prototype class and he commented, “This is a dream come true,” added Lux. “A year ago, I would not have believed I would be about to embark on this new chapter. And to be driving for Dyson Racing - there is really nothing better when you think about American sportcar racing: Dyson Racing is the first name that comes to your mind. I remember being a kid watching Dyson cars race around the track and am still speechless that I have this opportunity to be here.”
Marsal feels the same way and like Lux, his path saw him grab the media and fans attention in the Grand-Am Sports Car Challenge Series; however over his early years he competed in PCA taking wins and came very close to taking the title in the Monticello (N.Y.) Motor Club. He earned two wins in the SSC and in 2010, he and his co-driver finished second in the GS class with Turner Motorsport. In 2011, Marsal raced for the team in the GT class of the Grand-Am Rolex Series.
“We have been very impressed with the rate of development that Michael has shown in testing with us over the last year, first in our Lola World Junior Car program at Monticello Motor Club and last December when he stepped into the LMP1 car at Sebring. He has really stepped up and is ready for the challenge of prototype racing,” said Dyson.
Marcel said, “I’ve known Chris for a long time, and for him to bring Eric and me into this program is a huge vote of confidence. I know that stepping up to a prototype is going to be a new challenge, but it is one that I’m very excited about. I’ve tested the car, and the performance is just incredible. I think Eric and I are going to be great co-drivers and I just can’t wait to get back into the Lola again. Long Beach can’t come soon enough.”