VOICES OF DYSON RACING: ROB DYSON This weekend at Lime Rock Park, it's all about Rob Dyson's vision. When Dyson Racing competed in its first professional race in 1983 at Lime Rock, he had no idea that the next 25 years would see his organization...
VOICES OF DYSON RACING: ROB DYSON
This weekend at Lime Rock Park, it's all about Rob Dyson's vision. When Dyson Racing competed in its first professional race in 1983 at Lime Rock, he had no idea that the next 25 years would see his organization define itself as America's premier sports car team and among the world's elite. Through the seasons there have been memorable victories, heartbreaking moments and everything in between. But the constant among it all has been Dyson. Today he shares some of his personal insights on Dyson Racing over the years.
"I don't think I've learned a whole lot but I sure have had a lot of things that I sort of knew reinforced. I guess the biggest thing is that winners never quit and quitters never win. And I think that's the biggest thing that I take from this - that you've got to keep working at it, and eventually with the right talent, the right bunch of guys behind you and a little bit of luck, you can succeed in this sport. It takes a lot of effort, though, a lot of heart. You have to give both the emotional and the physical part in order to succeed. And it's a kind of sport where it demands so much of you that you have to step up to it. I think that's the biggest thing I've learned.
"When we first started 25 years ago, we had five guys and one car. Now we've got 13 guys in the shop full-time but then we have a full complement of fly-ins, people from Porsche, our tire guys, our engine guys; we probably have a compliment at the race track of 35. We had one small 34-foot truck. Now we've got two 43-foot trucks. So I think it's more extensive; we're doing more of what we used to do with more people and more cars.
"I think the memories revolve around great race wins, not only ones that I've done personally but also on wins that the team has done and championships we've won. It's been an honor and a privilege really to be in sports car racing at this level. There's so many memories that I could keep everybody here for several hours, but two really stick out. I think when I won the LA Times Grand Prix at the old Riverside race track, that was a very storied race at a very storied race track. I think that is probably one of my personal high points in my own personal driving career, even though I won several races before and after. I think for the team, winning the American Le Mans Series championship - the first one - with Elliott Forbes-Robinson when we won that driver championship was a real thrill in 1999. But I think overall there have been so many great highlights that it's kind of hard to separate them, but those are two of the major things that I remember.
"The great thing about celebrating the 25th anniversary at Lime Rock is that we can almost be home for lunch. It's just a wonderful, great, terrific race track. It's been kind of our home track for many years. When I was club racing I'd go over there Tuesday afternoon in my Datsun 510 with Pat Smith who was my first crew chief. Pat was with me for 28 years and he was responsible for a lot of our success throughout all of our 28 years. He and I would go over there and run in an afternoon for $12 or $14 but if you got there after four o'clock, it only cost you six bucks. So Lime Rock is a very special place for us. We had a lot of race wins there, not only myself but also the rest of the team. And I think it's great to do it in front of so many of our own fans. A lot of the suppliers and the people live in the neighborhood, and a lot of the guys bring their wives and now their kids when before, 25 years ago, they didn't have the wives or the kids. So it'll be a great celebration not only for me and for Lime Rock, but it'll also be a great one for the team.
"It's been a great experience to start off with a Porsche 962 which is probably one of the greatest race cars ever built, and clearly one of the best - if not the best - sports cars ever built. It's a remarkable automobile, terrific durability, wonderful, easy car to drive, very tractable and incredibly reliable. Now to be back with the next generation of the Porsche RS Spyder, it's a worthy successor utilizing all of the latest technology over the 962. It's really an entirely different automobile, open cockpit V8 as opposed to a Flat Six, normally aspirated as opposed to turbo, no ground effects like the Porsche 962. It's a totally modern, up-to-date, sophisticated automobile and it's an honor to rejoin Porsche after all the years between our running of the 962 and several other chassis and then to be reunited with them. I'm really honored to be a part of the Porsche family and I'm honored that they're a part of our effort as well."
The American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix is race is scheduled for 2:05 p.m. ET on Saturday, July 12 at Lime Rock Park. SPEED will televise the race from noon to 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 13. XM Satellite Radio will air the event live on XM Sports Nation Channel 144. Additional live coverage from American Le Mans Radio and IMSA's Live Timing & Scoring also will be available at americanlemans.com.