Dawson Returns, Planning New LMP2 Effort With Transformers

Image: Dawson Racing

Ian Dawson is set to return to the IMSA paddock, having announced Thursday the formation of Dawson Racing and plans to field a LMP2 car in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship beginning next year.

Dawson and his son, Simon, formerly of Risi Competizione, have secured sponsorship from Hasbro for the newly named D3+Transformers Racing Team.

The popular Transformers franchise will serve as primary sponsor for the team’s three-year program in IMSA’s top prototype class. Drivers and its car choice have yet to be announced.

“From the minute we met the Hasbro people, we knew this was the partner we were looking for to introduce D3 to the world through their immensely popular Transformers line,” said Ian Dawson.

“I have been working on giving new opportunities to young drivers and engineers who are looking for a way to progress their talents in motorsport and with Simon’s commercial awareness and interest in the business we developed a vision.

“We know this is going to be an exciting, competitive and fun partnership for all involved.

“Every kid out there is going to want to go the races to see the Transformers race cars and to be a part of the support programs we plan to create at each venue.”

Dawson, who fielded the first-ever diesel-powered car at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, had been a frequent entrant in the American Le Mans Series with prototype efforts, the most recent coming in 2014.

Tom Warner, senior vice president, Transformers franchise added: “We are excited to team up with a first-class racing team and series with a brand that has a natural fit for cars and fans of all ages.”

A show car will be making its first appearance at a Hasbro event in Rode Island this weekend, with further news on the program expected to come at next month’s Petit Le Mans.

“This team introduces a new sponsor to our sport that has a natural fit and growing demographic: kids asking parents to bring them to races, which we are seeing more and more,” said IMSA President Scott Atherton.

“We welcome Hasbro and D3 to the Prototype field of the WeatherTech Championship.

“Not only will this team be popular with the kids but the adults as well, especially for the Transformers promotional activities they plan to activate surrounding our races.”

42 Comments

  1. Bob

    September 7, 2017 at 11:23 am

    Great news. But if they hope to capture kids as fans, rhe livery has to be Far more exciting than the dull generic one shown.

  2. Cactus Tony

    September 7, 2017 at 11:24 am

    $50 says the car shows up at Daytona, fails to complete even a significant chunk; appears but does not race at Sebring, then is never heard from again.

    • Radical tex guy

      September 7, 2017 at 2:20 pm

      Ill take your 50 dollar bet smart guy. Ill even raise 100.

    • Slicks in the wet

      September 8, 2017 at 5:19 am

      lol West Racing Gallardo……aaah

  3. vanillachinchilla

    September 7, 2017 at 11:30 am

    thats an LMP3 car….

    • rissas dad

      September 7, 2017 at 11:36 am

      “Ian Dawson is set to return to the IMSA paddock, having announced Thursday the formation of Dawson Racing and plans to field a LMP2 car in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship beginning next year.”

      yes it is an LMP3 in the pick, not what he says he is going to race though

      • John Dagys

        September 7, 2017 at 11:43 am

        The team has not yet announced which LMP2 car it will run, so if they published a render of a specific LMP2 car with its livery, that would kind give it away, no?

        • DC-3

          September 7, 2017 at 12:23 pm

          I’m going to go out on a limb and say that it _won’t_ be a Riley.

          • Jack

            September 7, 2017 at 1:10 pm

            safe bet.

        • ugh

          September 7, 2017 at 1:44 pm

          why not just send an image of the team logo? This makes this fake program look even more fake

      • Willis

        September 10, 2017 at 6:53 pm

        I take it you’ve never seen a radical RXC before…

    • ma2graha

      September 7, 2017 at 11:46 am

      That not an LMP3 car, it’s a GT3 spec Radical RXC.

    • Mike S.

      September 7, 2017 at 5:34 pm

      I thought so too. I see the other comments so will hold out for what the P2 will actually look like. Kind of weird to have a rendering but on a different car. Is it too hard to have an artist rendering on a P2 as that would be more of a professional rollout to have a cool sketch or rendering.

  4. rissas dad

    September 7, 2017 at 11:31 am

    This looks like a wait-and-see approach is warranted. Dont recall Dawson every mounting much of a serious effort previously. If this didnt have Hasbro and Transformers attached (which is a head-scratcher on its own) I wouldnt believe this at all. If it is true, then having a major non-racing oriented company paying money to get exposure on a sports car is kind of a big deal. Lot to digest here.

    • Camyron

      September 7, 2017 at 6:58 pm

      Well its either that, or being on a car fielded by Tommy Drissi.

    • Andy Flinn

      September 9, 2017 at 8:34 pm

      Ian Dawson has been involved with IMSA prototypes at least since the early ’80s. In 1983, his G.R.I.D. (Giuseppe. Risi. Ian. Dawson.) Plaza prototype did quite well at Sebring. I think the same car (white?) raced at Le Mans.

  5. rissas dad

    September 7, 2017 at 11:40 am

    “Tom Warner, senior vice president, Transformers franchise added: “We are excited to team up with a first-class racing team and series with a brand that has a natural fit for cars and fans of all ages.”

    Boy, Dawson laid a snow-job on this guy that would make the nastiest nor-easter look like a dusting.

    All kidding aside, I sincerely wish them well and look forward to seeing them on the grid. More the merrier!

  6. David Chaste

    September 7, 2017 at 11:44 am

    They give you too many reasons to be skeptical.

    I dont remember them in 2014 but their LMP1 radical during the ALMS years seemed to be on the entry list for the last 2 races but never appeared in the races.

    The picture is of a Riley track day car. Pretty much a JV version of a Daytona Prototype. There’s no mention of which LMP2 car they will run. For such a top line sponsor those things should already be figured out by now.

    It’s just overly optimistic, simplistic, and vague.

    • Jack

      September 7, 2017 at 1:21 pm

      they raced at mazda raceway in 2013. they were denied entry into the 2014 rolex 24 with the radical. the reason they dont have a mock up livery on an actual p2 car is because they havent announced the car yet, which is why they dont have a p2 car, cuz it would kind of give it away.

  7. jason

    September 7, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    If there are going to be so many new DPI/LMP2 entrants in the Weathertech series in 2018, IMSA needs to consider taking a couple race dates and consider splitting them between prototype and GT perhaps. I’m thinking Mid Ohio, CTMP and/or Laguna Seca.

    We are looking at 15-20 full time prototype entries in 2018 now. I don’t think GTLM and GTD are going to decrease.

    • Kirk

      September 7, 2017 at 1:13 pm

      It might harken back to the golden age of sports car racing back in the late 80’s when most IMSA events had separate prototype and GT races.

    • Paul

      September 7, 2017 at 10:17 pm

      Definitely doing CTMP ourselves next year, and also seriously looking at Mid-Ohio too! Mid-Ohio, first weekend in May. Great way to officially end WINTER!!

      • Matt

        September 8, 2017 at 10:49 am

        * Mosport. CTMP is the corporatized name

  8. Dave timms

    September 7, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    Well i must say a partnership with Hasbro/transformers branding, has got to the biggest announcement in my recollection of racing, well certainly in imsa. With most likely movie rights etc to go with it. From what i have read in scouring the web,is that come to find out they will run a Dallara Chassis. I have seen a few car livery’s with what looks to be 3D effects, as the car moves on track, it appears to be one of the good/bad transformers. I must say impressive and innovative.I would say way over any Troy Lee liveries. Last i thought the Dawson team was racing in imsa at least when i saw them in 2012, was under Project Libra racing? This partnership will get interesting to watch!

    • Jack

      September 7, 2017 at 1:23 pm

      2013, and they tried entering imsa in 2014, participated in all the preseasons tests, but were not given an entry.

  9. Change it up

    September 7, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    I’m going to the opening night of that Hasbro Convention (Hascon) tonight!!! I will be on the lookout for the show car.

  10. Robert

    September 7, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    The car in the picture is a Radical RXC Coupe

  11. Noel

    September 7, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    Disney had a couple LMP3 cars race in China with “Cars 3” liveries this season. It’s an interesting concept, but I agree with others about the vagueness of this effort. Why not just wait till the details are finalized instead of showing a half baked Radical?

  12. Dave timms

    September 7, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    From what i understand in reading web articles, the reason for showing the car as a Radical, is because Dallara has not shown the public its new chassis for 2018, and it’s new bop package. It will be available Nov or Dec for teams with contracts with Dallara. The other reason is, i see that the Dawson’s own radical of Texas according to there web site.

    • Andrew

      September 7, 2017 at 4:05 pm

      There would have to be the joker update used to have a new 2018 chassis and nothing has rumored they are in development yet of a joker package. Under LMP2 rules they don’t get a free new chassis until 2020/1 I believe. And there is no BOP, if you build a crap car like Riley you’re stuck until you use your joker for LMP2 spec cars. Riley likely with use it but then Multimatic and Joest are going to need it to update the Mazda DPi.

  13. juneracer

    September 7, 2017 at 12:56 pm

    new young drivers and college students engineering. sounds like back marker to me. not sure how that helps the sponsor to be last or DNF. unfortunately the Dawson’s have a track record…but we’ll see…

  14. Mike

    September 7, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    > Dawson, who fielded the first-ever diesel-powered car at the 24 Hours of Le Mans

    First Diesel-powered LMP John, not first diesel-powered car.

    > From what i understand in reading web articles, the reason for showing the car as a Radical, is because Dallara has not shown the public its new chassis for 2018, and it’s new bop package.

    Dave you’re getting confused. There has been no rumor or mention of Dallara using it’s joker homologation update for 2018. You’re likely talking about the SMP-funded P1L car.

    • Dave timms

      September 7, 2017 at 3:12 pm

      Mike you are incorrect again. Sorry but this came direct from Dallara last month. You may contact them if you wish they will be glad to give you the run down plans as they are no secret at this point.. There was a possible Gibson U.K. chassis option as well, but Dallara was selected.

      • Andrew

        September 7, 2017 at 4:08 pm

        That’s strange cause Dallara recently said different in 2 articles when directly asked about a new chassis. They are focused on the SMP project and LMP1. There’s no LMP2 update at this time.

  15. GridS2Plaza

    September 7, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    Maybe they are seeking to enter a new IMSA “hybrid” class. Hybrids using the fronts of LMP2 cars mated to the back end of DP cars.

    Possible sub class within IMSA prototype class.

    IMSA needs to keep up with WEC.

    • Pete

      September 7, 2017 at 5:58 pm

      Grade A trolling

    • Andy Flinn

      September 9, 2017 at 8:40 pm

      Grid, maybe he plans to dust off the G.R.Ian. Dawson.) Plaza and race that.

  16. no ugly fin

    September 7, 2017 at 10:57 pm

    no ugly fin

    • Slicks in the wet

      September 8, 2017 at 5:37 am

      yes pretty debut

  17. billthe3

    September 8, 2017 at 2:20 am

    I hope they have a mock-up car that changes into a transformer in their pit area.

    • Slicks in the wet

      September 8, 2017 at 5:36 am

      It transforms from the Entry List to the Did Not Start list!

  18. Raphael

    September 8, 2017 at 6:51 pm

    I hoping they bring 2 cars to the series. One as an Autobot, and the other a Decepticon. I’m pretty sure they will.

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