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.”