Chris Dyson Relishing Memorial Day Debut At Lime Rock Park

(Press Release from Lime Rock Park)

Chris Dyson in action (Photo: Courtesy Lime Rock Park)

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 no racing at Lime Rock 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.

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  1. This weekend would also be a perfect weekend to showcase the Modifieds at limerock too. It doesn’t have to be the Whelen tour, Skip Barber could host an open show, like Stafford did.. i think the Trans Am fans especially would Love the mods there.

  2. Billy,
    I’m sure a ton of fans would enjoy that, but I don’t think you would get a heck of a lot of teams interested. Racing at Lime Rock would be a huge financial burden on most teams. First, the costs of changing the cars over to run the road course. Second, you would likely have to schedule an open test day of some sort because you wouldn’t be able to give teams enough practice time during an event weekend to get prepared. So you’d have not only the cost of preparing the car for the road course and the cost of race weekend but also the costs associated with another day of testing time. I just don’t think the track could feasibly put up a purse that would make the finances of all that work.
    One of the biggest complaints of Modified Tour teams when they were running at Lime Rock was the costs associated with having a one-off road course on the schedule.

  3. The modified tour ran at Lime Rock 15 or so years ago. In the opposite direction ! They really hauled.

  4. Bob,
    No there was never a race run there in the wrong direction. There were people that had started rumors before the Whelen Modified Tour event that it would be run in the reverse direction but that was never the case.

  5. Stuart Fearn says

    to circle trackers every road course race is run in the wrong direction! we run counter clockwise and every road course race is run clockwise. to the non sportscar fan we ran “backwards”!

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