Dyson Racing Poised for Bentley PWC Program

Photo: Brecht Decancq Photography

Photo: Brecht Decancq Photography

Fresh off its first outing in the Blancpain Endurance Series, the new Bentley Continental GT3 is set to make its North American debut later this year in the Pirelli World Challenge, potentially with one of America’s most successful sports car racing teams.

Multiple sources have confirmed to Sportscar365 that the famed British manufacturer is preparing a two-car PWC effort, with all signs pointing towards Dyson Racing running the FIA GT3-spec machines in the sprint race GT championship.

M-Sport boss Malcolm Wilson revealed during the Monza weekend that two cars have been sold to a team in the U.S., and while a Bentley spokesperson would not confirm a program, he admitted that they continue to evaluate their options in North America.

Dyson Racing VP and Sporting Director Chris Dyson could not be reached for a comment. The Poughkeepsie, N.Y.-based operation, which celebrated its 30th anniversary last year, has kept its core staff employed despite having yet to announce a program for 2014.

It’s believed that longtime Dyson pilots Guy Smith and Butch Leitzinger could be in the frame for drives, alongside the possibility of Chris Dyson.

Smith, who won the 2003 24 Hours of Le Mans with Bentley, is contesting the Blancpain Endurance Series in one of M-Sport’s factory entries, while Leitzinger, who was also part of the manufacturer’s LMP900 program, was on-hand at Monza last weekend as a guest of the team.

The Continental GT3 made its race debut in December’s Gulf 12 Hours at Yas Marina Circuit with Smith and Dyson alumni Steven Kane and Andy Meyrick. Two additional customers programs have been announced for British GT, including one for Kane and another former Dyson driver, Humaid al Masaood.

An official announcement on its PWC program could be made as early as this week. 

37 Comments

  1. susafan

    April 14, 2014 at 10:13 am

    Please, Please, get this done to let the North American SportsCAR championship die.

    • Lanky Turtle

      April 14, 2014 at 12:44 pm

      I would not be surprised in any way to see a couple Bentleys lining up on the grid at Daytona next year.

    • Andy

      April 14, 2014 at 1:56 pm

      If you hate it so much, then don’t watch it. Don’t wish for it to die so those of us with out sticks up our butts have nothing to watch.

      • Bakkster

        April 14, 2014 at 4:10 pm

        Exactly. It isn’t like PWC is suffering right now, there’s no benefit to one less sports car series.

  2. Tarek R

    April 14, 2014 at 10:25 am

    The 2014 Pirelli World Challenge is looking great.

    The only dark side, mixing GT and GTS classes with that big speed diffrence and worse with very slow drivers in GTS.

  3. Marcus

    April 14, 2014 at 11:07 am

    IMSA’s decision on not allowing GT3 spec cars to compete unchanged is looking worse and worse by the day

    • Jason

      April 14, 2014 at 12:16 pm

      What makes it worse is that because of Porsche’s committment to the GT America. I don’t think IMSA can reverse course unless they find ways to make that car faster.

    • Patrick

      April 14, 2014 at 4:48 pm

      Why is IMSA plan to not run GT3 a bad idea? Imsa has a full feild of cars in GTD as it is? Obviosly it wasn’t a bad idea. Plus GT3 will be replaced in a few years anyway. When the ACO, IMSA and FIA come up with the new GT rules im sure IMSA will adopt it then.

  4. scottypinthemix

    April 14, 2014 at 11:21 am

    That’s great news.
    I love the cars in PWC. The only thing that I am NOT a fan of is the spring race format.
    Endurance races are the only reason that I hope TUSC fixes the MANY problems it has, and sticks around for a while (In a perfect world, does away with the DP cars too)

    • scottypinthemix

      April 14, 2014 at 11:21 am

      oops….spring = sprint

      • User

        April 14, 2014 at 12:40 pm

        They will, the only issue is time. Unfortunately it seems as though the ACO and FIA should have fast forwarded the redevelopment of of the GTE/GT3 classes sooner. It’s really the biggest downfall of the series. IMSA also needs to cut the crap with the hideous aero packages on those poor GT3 cars as well and as cool as I thought the DPs were, they really need to be axed (IMO of course).

  5. Adrian

    April 14, 2014 at 11:56 am

    Long live PWC! Please TUDOR, crawl into a dark hole and die.

    Sincerely, sportscar fans.

    • Patrick

      April 14, 2014 at 4:50 pm

      Clearly you are not a sportcarfan.

      • Adrian

        April 14, 2014 at 5:21 pm

        Oh, I am. TUDOR is an embarrassment to racing.

        • Tim

          April 14, 2014 at 8:11 pm

          And your comment is an embarrassment to sports car fans…

    • Iamthey

      April 14, 2014 at 11:56 pm

      Not that it might happen, but imagine today’s pwc with a prototype class.

  6. Jess

    April 14, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    I don’t think the Tudor seies can say all is well when a team with Dysons reputation changes cars and goes GT racing.. How long will it be before PWC thinks about prototypes and a change to endurance racing.

    • Jason

      April 14, 2014 at 12:19 pm

      I hope Protos will NOT be considered. But longer races yes bring that on!

    • Lanky Turtle

      April 14, 2014 at 12:39 pm

      Probably a long time since then they would have to deal with pitstops and long full course cautions and prototypes upstaging the “factory” teams. All the things IMSA has to deal with. Plus they would have to convince IndyCar and NASCAR to give them the track time to run longer races unless they want to try to run standalone weekends as the top series without a major marquee event or any connection to Le Mans racing.

    • Bob the Builder

      April 14, 2014 at 10:45 pm

      Dyson has not really had a whole lot to brag about over the last 2 years. Their team need a major reset after the 2013 season when it really hit rock bottom.

  7. Jason

    April 14, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    Great news to see this. One thing I think TUSK had a better race than PWC at Long beach this weekend though.

  8. Baigu

    April 14, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    If PWC could a couple of endurance events, it would be awesome! 24h of Indy?

    • Bakkster

      April 14, 2014 at 4:16 pm

      I’d rather see either SCCA or IMSA sanction some full-blown GT3 endurance events. PWC has always been the anti-endurance series (they brag about not having pit stops). Don’t mess with the series we have already, but we’re getting more and more chassis in the states you could run with.

      It’ll go over way better than US DTM.

  9. BobR

    April 14, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    This is great news. I look forward to seeing Chris, Guy, Butch and perhaps TK Smith racing under the Dyson colors. Now we just have to have PWC come back to Lime Rock.

  10. Nuno Rosario

    April 14, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    now if PWC gets a tv contract,and a more diversed GT grid,its like a normal GT3/GT4 championship all over
    this is good for the U.S racing wise,really good

    • Bakkster

      April 14, 2014 at 4:19 pm

      How much more diverse does it need to get!?

      I’m also glad they’ve basically got a GT3/GT4 format for the top billed races, plus the local rules for guys like Cadillac, Kia, and Acura who don’t want to build FIA rule cars.

      IMO, a TV contract would do more harm than good. I can watch every race online now, a TV contract just means someone’s going to try and end the streaming.

      • kevlow

        April 14, 2014 at 5:11 pm

        Good point on the streaming. I believe that this will be the way of the future. The Blancpain Monza stream was excellent. If PWC will improve the quality of the production to be on par with the Sun morning Monza race then it would be the perfect viewing format.

  11. bobR

    April 14, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    Great News!! It will be nice to see Chris, Guy, Butch & perhaps TK Smith in Dyson cars. Just need to get PWC to come back to Lime Rock.

  12. kevlow

    April 14, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    Great news. I watched the Bentley on the Blancpain Monza live feed. It was very good for a new car. It ran a lot like the Caddies. It was powerful out of the hole and fast on top end. It had a little bit of rear tire wear 3/4 of the way through each stint. Still finished 7th and 8th overall out of forty well sorted cars. It ran in second place for roughly forty minutes. It was a beast out of the corners.

    It will be great to see the Dyson team back again. I wish both Dyson and Bentley the best!

  13. av

    April 14, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    Any negative comments regarding tusc has been generated by imsa`s own decision of giving to the fans a manipulated and fictitious product. And most negative comments are just a product of seeing our beloved sport damaged and distorted in a way that’s just hard to assimilate. That has nothing to do with sticks up anybody’s butt. It just the reality. I have been very critical of that manipulation especially ater sebring. however, I am sure that if imsa changes its way of conducting and manipulating the races the tusc championship has great potential and most fans will like to watch their races. But, the damage is now done. Especially after what they did with sebring. That was just too much. And seeing muscle milk team step back and now dyson opting for a different series with a factory effort demonstrates once again a refusal from teams to spend thier time and thier money in a series that runs fictitious races. This is big news for the pwc. It is not the money it is the culture of the organization that will make the differnce. Thats why the alms worked so well and thier races were always well attended. because the attitude was “for the fans”. That attitude, and the efforts of RLM, saved and moved forward endurance racing all over the world like never before.

    • Jess

      April 14, 2014 at 8:17 pm

      Very well put AV.

      I personally know of one extremely well funded group that has pulled the plug on 2014. Their plans were to enter two P2 cars at mid season but a meeting this morning killed that program. They will look at the results of several more events before making a.decision about 2015.

      Their reason is their is no reason to spend upwards of $7 million dollars to run in a contrived series. Perhaps the Dyson and Muscle Milk decisions will get someones attention.

    • Ernie2492

      April 14, 2014 at 11:03 pm

      Now I wondering if the rest of P2 teams would end their TUSC campaign from Laguna Seca onwards?

  14. Bob the Builder

    April 14, 2014 at 10:42 pm

    Something tells me that was probably Level 5

  15. Koos

    April 15, 2014 at 1:49 am

    The Bentley is actually owned by a German company – Volkswagen

    • Jess

      April 15, 2014 at 7:21 am

      No it was not level 5. It is a new team Koos.

      • av

        April 15, 2014 at 7:30 am

        That’s a very significant development rigth there Jess. Thank you for your info. The amazing thing is that it is all based on a type of mentality. It has nothing to do with technical, logistical or monetary reasons or difficulties, but just a frame of mind. And what can easily become the best series in the world gets drowned by the personal point of view of a few. It took long years to have so many manufacturers lined up at the same time. And now when they are here the series is going to blow it away.

  16. 2Gest

    April 15, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    PWC please come back to Lime Rock and Watkins Glen!

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