TRANS-AM - Dyson Relishes Lime Rock Debut


Dyson Relishing Trans Am Memorial Day Debut at Lime Rock

LAKEVILLE, CT (23 May 2019) – A Dyson family holiday tradition enters a new generation this weekend when the Trans Am presented by Pirelli headlines the Memorial Day Motorsports Festival at Lime Rock Park.
Over the years, the family would visit the circuit to watch Rob Dyson tackle the 1.52-mile layout in Camel GTP, IMSA World Sports Car and Grand-Am SRP competition. With Connecticut’s Blue Laws prohibiting competition on Sundays, the Dysons would host a picnic and Indianapolis 500 “Watch Party” at their home in nearby Pleasant Valley, N.Y. There, young Chris Dyson would mingle with the team’s racing stars, including James Weaver, Butch Leitzinger, Andy Wallace and Elliott Forbes-Robinson.
This weekend, that tradition comes full cycle when the younger Dyson pilots his No. 20 Plaid Ford Mustang in Monday’s Trans Am feature race at 1:25 p.m.
“For me, personally, this weekend is wonderful, because I’ve never actually raced there on Memorial Day,” Chris Dyson said. “As a kid, I spent just about every Memorial Day I can remember watching my dad race out there. Now, it’s worked out so that I happen to be in a great series when it returns to Lime Rock. I’m thrilled that [Lime Rock Park owner] Skip Barber was able to bring the Trans Am Series back for the traditional weekend.
“I think the Trans Am cars are going to put on a great show, and I’m excited to race in front of my family and home crowd.” 
Dyson Racing had a breakout Memorial Day weekend in 1985, when Drake Olson scored an upset victory driving Rob Dyson’s brand-new Porsche 962 in the team’s Camel GTP debut. Leitzinger and Weaver won the 1998 event in Dyson’s Riley & Scott Ford Mk III. Weaver and Leitzinger returned in that car to win Grand-Am’s debut race in 2000, and repeated with a pair of triumphs in the twin-sprint format in 2001.
Chris Dyson has an ALMS victory to his credit at Lime Rock, winning a July race in 2011 with Guy Smith driving a Mazda Lola B09/86. However, he’s not sure how his prototype experience will help his this weekend. 
“The thing about these Trans Am cars is that they are phenomenally fast, but drastically different at just about every track I’ve raced,” Dyson explained. “We’ve got massive horsepower to control and a decent amount of downforce. The key to driving a Trans Am car quickly is keeping the rolling speed without getting too greedy. There are a lot of momentum corners at Lime Rock, and I can’t wait to get out there in my Plaid Mustang. But I’m going to need very piece of experience I’ve had out there.”
Trans Am class practice begins on Saturday at 4:10 p.m. (all times ET). Qualifying begins at 9:05 a.m. on Monday, with the 67-lap, 100-mile feature race on Monday at 1:25 p.m.


Tom Beeler

Tom has been a contributor to RIS since 1992, and has covered IndyCar, Formula 1, NASCAR, Grand-Am, ALMS and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In addition to his RIS work, Tom has been a contributor for General Motors, Nissan, Toyota and the ACO.

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Volume 2019, Issue 5, Posted 1:07 PM, 05.24.2019