Dyson Team Concludes Two-Day Test at Sebring, Encouraged by Winter Progress. SEBRING, FL, FEBRUARY 3-- Thetford / Norcold Dyson Racing recently concluded a two-day test at Sebring International Raceway, and the 2003 series champions are...
Dyson Team Concludes Two-Day Test at Sebring, Encouraged by Winter Progress.
SEBRING, FL, FEBRUARY 3-- Thetford / Norcold Dyson Racing recently concluded a two-day test at Sebring International Raceway, and the 2003 series champions are confident heading into the first round of the 2004 American Le Mans Series championship.
With the team's #16 and #20 MG-Lola prototypes on hand, English star James Weaver and 2003 LMP675 champion Chris Dyson spent the first day of the test evaluating AER engine development and Goodyear tires. Andy Wallace and Butch Leitzinger joined the test on the second day of the test after strong runs at the 24 Hours of Daytona. Despite the track being slower than in recent tests, Weaver was still close to his qualifying time set for the 2003 12 Hours of Sebring.
Team principal Rob Dyson returned to the cockpit for the first time since shoulder surgery in the summer of 2003. In limited running, Dyson was delighted with the progress of the cars' development. A return for the Sebring event may happen, but it looks unlikely for the team boss. Dyson will continue his rehabilitation with an eye on doing some racing in 2004.
The Dyson team has spent the last 18 months developing their Lola machines, which claimed three pole positions in 2003 and took overall victory at last year's Grand Prix of Sonoma.
Chris Dyson was pleased with the test results. "We were pretty happy with the amount of work we were able to get done here," he said. "James tried some new tires which have given us a good direction for the race, and AER has made some pretty impressive gains with their electronics and engine performance. We proved last year that the cars are quick enough and can win races, and this winter we have been eliminating all of the reliability issues that occasionally nagged us. I'm very enthusiastic about this coming season."
Dyson's final driver lineup for the 12 Hours of Sebring has yet to be finalized. Wallace will join Weaver and Leitzinger in the #16 machine, and Chris Dyson will spearhead the #20 car's driving strength.
Since entering the sportscar racing world in 1985, Dyson Racing has been North America's most successful sportscar team. For 2004 the team will campaign two of its MG-Lola EX257 prototypes in the nine-race American Le Mans Series. The series' first event is the 12 Hours of Sebring on March 20.