It was a sweet victory. As has become the tradition when Dyson Racing wins at Mid-Ohio, Rob Dyson was drenched with multiple bottles of champagne in victory circle here today after Chris Dyson and Guy Smith won the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge in their #16 Castol Mazda Lola coupe. It was the first overall American Le Mans Series victory for Mazda, for BP Biofuel Isobutanol, for Dunlop tires, for Guy Smith and Chris Dyson, and for Castrol. It was a new race record and Dyson set the car’s fastest lap four laps from the end.
Chris Dyson won by a half a second over Simon Pagenaud in the Highcroft entry. It was his fifth win in the ALMS. “We had a good car all weekend,” Dyson said. “It stopped well, put the power down in key areas, and it was extremely consistent as the fuel burned off. The guys in the pits did an amazing job putting us in the right place with our strategy, and the stops were great. Simon Pagenaud is one of our strongest competitors and I knew it was going to come down to a good hard scrap at the end. The pace was fast and furious. I really had to keep my head down and push every lap. It was very satisfying to win here today.”
Smith started the race and ran a close second for the first forty-five minute stint. “The car was mega during my run,” Smith said. Dyson got in the car during the first yellow on lap thirty-nine. He came out third and passed Pagenaud for second on the fifty-fifth lap. He hounded the first place car and was a half-second back when he pitted during the second yellow of the race and came out at the head of the field where he finished.
We have had our ups and downs this year,” noted Smith. “We regrouped and reorganized and today shows the rewards from that. A good team is able to bounce back from adversity and that is the strength of the Dyson Racing team.”
Rob Dyson commented, “That last lap was a long one! I got to tell you that Guy and Chris really hammered the times today. They did a superb job in traffic and that was the winning ingredient. I want to thank Robert Davis, John Doonan and everyone at Mazda who have been so supportive of us, the people at BP and Castrol, our friends at Lola and everyone at AER who have been working so hard this year. And of course we have to say thanks to Dunlop. We double-stinted our tires at the end while Simon took on fresh rubber, and the performance of the Dunlops was very impressive. It has been a great combination of all of our partners working together, and we will all work hard to duplicate this for the remaining races.”