Dyson Racing Thetford/Norcold Porsche RS Spyder

Dyson Racing is moving to the LMP2 class for 2007's American Le Mans Series season, and they'll do so in style as they become the first customer team to run Porsche's RS Spyder racing prototype. You'll recall that Porsche's official development partner, Penske Racing, ran a pair of the DHL-liveried Spyders for the 2006 season.

The cars Rob Dyson's team will run are the new 2007 models, which are more aerodynamic (and dare we say better looking) than last year's 1st gen cars. They will be identical to the cars Penske runs, and they are sure to add even more juice to a very energized LMP2 class that's also welcoming Acura into the fold next year. In fact, LMP2 appears to be the class to watch, as Dyson's departure from the LMP1 class leaves reigning champion Audi Sport and Autocon Motorsport alone to duke it out for the P1 crown. (Danbury, CT-based Highcroft racing left P1 as well and is one of the teams that will field the new Acura racer.)

When you consider that the R10 TDIs went undefeated in P1 last season, it doesn't look like that division will be a source of much drama. Most people will wait for the utter steel cage match that will be Audi vs. Peugeot in a diesel-fueled France vs. Germany duel at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

It should be great fun to watch Chris Dyson and Guy Smith in the #20 car and Butch Leitzinger and Andy Wallace in the #16 car as they do battle in in what has become a substantial LMP2 team roster. The 12 Hours of Sebring can't arrive soon enough.

(Press releases, #20 car livery after the jump)

[Sources: Dyson Racing, American Le Mans Series, Porsche]





DYSON RACING PRESS RELEASE

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY Dec. 18 – Porsche and endurance sports car racing; Dyson Racing and Porsche: synonymous phrases. Dyson Racing and Porsche are back together: the Thetford/Norcold team will be running two LMP2 RS Spyders in the American Le Mans Series in 2007. The team ran Porsche 962s in IMSA GTP from 1985 through 1991, winning a dozen races with nineteen podium finishes and four consecutive Porsche Cups. They won the first race they ran with the Porsche at Lime Rock in May of 1985. In the two decades since, they have not relinquished their title as America's premier sports car team.

"The 962 was an exquisite looking race car," noted Rob Dyson. "And like the old air plane adage, if it looks right, it will fly right. It was a great car to drive and that is what Porsche does best, building ultimate customer race cars with their renowned engineering and support behind them. To combine that Porsche perfection with our successful tradition brings a whole new level of enthusiasm to our team for the upcoming season. This is a reuniting of old family members, building on our partnership of mutual respect and a shared winning history."

Hartmut Kristen, head of Porsche Motorsport worldwide, was pleased that a team of Dyson's caliber has decided to embrace the RS Spyder program. "When we announced our ALMS participation, it was our target to have the RS Spyder being raced by customer teams in 2007," said Krisen. "We will continue our development work together with the Penske Motorsports team. The results of this work will be made available to our customer teams. The RS Spyders for Penske and Dyson are exactly the same 2007 models, and the engines we are providing to the teams are identical as well."

"We will be competing next year with a proven package that has race data and advancement behind it," Chris Dyson said. "Porsche won the ALMS championship last year and that is a strong selling point. Our team will be racing at the most competitive level in ALMS, where new teams, drivers and manufactures are going to be focusing their considerable resources. We will be able to showcase who we are as a team and concentrate on winning races and championships."

Dyson Racing has sixteen team and driver championships and sixty-one wins since that first GTP win at Lime Rock twenty one years ago. Anchoring this new package and era for Dyson Racing will be the familiar #20 blue and white Thetford/Norcold entry driven by Chris Dyson and Guy Smith and #16 with Butch Leitzinger and Andy Wallace. The team will be testing their first car at the January 21 – 24 ALMS Winter Test at Sebring and racing both at the first race of the season, the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring March 17.


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ALMS PRESS RELEASE

DYSON, PORSCHE REUNITE FOR RS SPYDER EFFORT

Dyson Racing is returning to its roots. One of the top independent teams in the American Le Mans Series, the Poughkeepsie, N.Y.-based organization will field two Porsche RS Spyders in the Series' growing LMP2 class for the 2007 season. Dyson Racing joins Penske Motorsports as teams fielding the revolutionary prototype from Porsche.

An active participant in the American Le Mans Series since its formation in 1999, Dyson Racing has posted eight class victories and won the Series' LMP675 championship in 2003 as Chris Dyson won the drivers crown. For 2007, Dyson will again team with Guy Smith in the No. 20 entry with Butch Leitzinger and Andy Wallace in the No. 16.

"We will be competing next year with a proven package that has race data and advancement behind it," Chris Dyson said. "Porsche won the American Le Mans Series championship last year and that is a strong selling point. Our team will be racing at the most competitive level in the Series where new teams, drivers and manufactures are going to be focusing their considerable resources. We will be able to showcase who we are as a team and concentrate on winning races and championships."

The team expects to take delivery of one car in time for the annual American Le Mans Series Winter Test at Sebring in late January, with the second car due to arrive in February. Both cars will be on the grid for the season-opening 55th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.

Porsche is the most successful manufacturer in Series history with 65 class wins including eight with the RS Spyder under the factory-supported Penske Motorsports banner. Dyson Racing represents Porsche's first customer program in LMP2, which will see entries from Acura, Mazda, Lola, Radical and Courage next year.

"When we announced our American Le Mans Series participation in Atlanta in April 2005, it was our target to have the RS Spyder raced by customer teams in 2007," said Hartmut Kristen, head of Porsche Motorsport worldwide. "So having the Dyson team as a customer is exactly what we were going for. We will continue our development work together with the Penske Motorsports team and we are going to do all the testing with them.

"The results of this work and the new developments will be made available to our customer teams as well. This is a very clear arrangement. The RS Spyders for Penske and Dyson are exactly the same 2007 models, and the engines we are providing to the teams are identical as well," added Kristen, who indicated that Porsche will provide a factory race engine engineer and a Porsche RS Spyder race engineer to the Dyson team.

Dyson Racing has a rich history with Porsche by fielding 962s in IMSA GTP. From 1985-1991, Dyson Racing Porsches posted 12 victories and 14 podiums as it established itself as one of America's premier sports car team. Team owner Rob Dyson believes this latest opportunity will further that tradition and ensure continued success for both Dyson Racing and Porsche.

"The 962 was an exquisite looking race car," noted Rob Dyson. "And like the old air plane adage, if it looks right, it will fly right. It was a great car to drive and that is what Porsche does best, building ultimate customer race cars with their renowned engineering and support behind them. To combine that Porsche perfection with our successful tradition brings a whole new level of enthusiasm to our team for the upcoming season. This is a reuniting of old family members, building on our partnership of mutual respect and a shared winning history."

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PORSCHE PRESS RELEASE

Dyson Racing first customer team with the RS Spyder

Stuttgart. Dyson Racing will run two Porsche RS Spyders as the first customer team in the American Le Mans Series. With the Weissach-developed sports prototype the American team will contest the LM P2 class in 2007, where Porsche claimed the drivers, manufacturers and team title this past season. Moreover, as in 2006, Penske Motorsports will again enter two RS Spyders.

"When we announced our engagement in the American Le Mans Series back in April 2005 at Atlanta it was our goal to have the RS Spyder running for customer teams in 2007. This is now realised with Dyson Racing," said Porsche's head of motorsport, Hartmut Kristen. "Penske Motorsports remains our development partner with whom we conduct all major tests. We will make the results of this development work available to our customer teams. The RS Spyders for Penske Motorsports and for Dyson Racing will be identical vehicles to the 2007 model year. The engines will also be absolutely identical."

Running the RS Spyder, Dyson Racing, which is one of the most experienced squads in the American Le Mans Series, will be assisted by an engine and a vehicle engineer from Weissach. The team, which is based in New York and was founded by Rob Dyson, has already announced Chris Dyson, Butch Leitzinger, Andy Wallace, and Guy Smith as their 2007 driver line-up.

The close connection between Rob Dyson and Porsche dates back as far as 1985, when the team principal acquired a Porsche 962 to race successfully in the IMSA GTP Series with ten wins to its credit. His team won the North American Porsche Cup four times in succession from 1985 to 1988.

The new RS Spyder for the 2007 season is predominantly an aerodynamically improved evolution of the sports prototype that clinched seven class wins and an overall double victory at Mid-Ohio out of ten races. Thanks to this performance, Porsche won the LM P2 class manufacturers title (chassis and engine) with Sascha Maassen and Lucas Luhr claiming the drivers championship and Penske Motorsports winning the team title.

The American Le Mans Series takes off into the 2007 season with the 12 Hours of Sebring on 17 March.