Thursday
Jun282007

TEAM NEWS: DYSON RACING RETURNS TO ITS ROOTS

Photo by John Thawley Dyson Racing team owner Rob Dyson bought a Porsche 962 race car in 1985 on the advice of long-time friend Bob Aikn. Dyson went on to win his first race that same year at Lime Rock Park—the first of many wins for the Dyson/Porsche partnership.

After claiming 12 victories, 19 podium finishes and four consecutive Porsche Cups with Porsche prototypes, the team entered a phase with new manufacturers after the 1991 season. Now in its 32nd year of racing, Dyson Racing has renewed its historical relationship with Porsche and Round Six of the 2007 American Le Mans Series season brings the Dyson/Porsche partnership back to where it all started—Lime Rock Park.

The Dyson Racing team considers Lime Rock Park its "home track" as the team is headquartered less than two hours away in Poughkeepsie, New York. The team's track record at Lime Rock is as impressive as it is historical with 10 top-three, 11 top-five and 15 top-10 finishes since 1985.

"Lime Rock is our home track," said team manager Randall Kelsey. "This is the track I went to as a kid and is the only race we go to where the guys can sleep in their own beds each night. No tin tubes, no hotels, so that makes life easier. But at the same time there is the extra, added pressure to do well in front of our families and friends. There is a large contingent that comes out to root for us, which does energize the team.

"The Dysons have been racing at Lime Rock longer than any other team," Kelsey added. "It is a race track with a lot of history in a postcard beautiful area. It is easily one of our favorite races of the year."

In the No. 16 Porsche RS Spyder, Butch Leitzinger and Andy Wallace finished on the podium for the second time this year at the Utah Grand Prix. Dyson Racing will be looking for its next podium finish at Lime Rock Park, 22 years after the team's first win in a Porsche.

"Lime Rock is like Le Mans or the Indy 500 for Dyson Racing so you can bet we will be all trying extra hard for that first [2007] win," said Guy Smith. "I can't wait to drive the Porsche RS Spyder around there especially as we are making some good progress with the car."

Lime Rock Park is celebrating a milestone this year with its 50th anniversary of road racing. With its beautiful setting and legendary track, Lime Rock Park is a favorite for American Le Mans Series drivers.

"Lime Rock is without a doubt my favorite race circuit," said Butch Leitzinger, "The circuit design, with its high-speed turns and elevation changes, is one of the most challenging anywhere in the world. I love that there are no grandstands at Lime Rock. When you look up at the hillside and see all of the families having a picnic sitting on blankets and watching a day of racing, it almost makes me jealous that they are having more fun than me."

The American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix is set for 3 p.m. ET on Saturday, July 7 at Lime Rock Park. CBS Sports will televise the race at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 8. American Le Mans Radio will have live coverage at americanlemans.com, which also will feature IMSA Live Timing & Scoring.

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