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Dyson Racing Eyeing IMSA Return With Mazda DPi

Chris Dyson, Guy Smith would be drivers of proposed DPi effort for mid-season debut…

Photo: Dyson Racing

Dyson Racing could make its return to top-level prototype racing as soon as next year, with the longtime IMSA entrant reportedly eyeing a Mazda DPi customer program.

The New York-based squad, which was last seen in IMSA competition in the final year of the American Le Mans Series in 2013 with a Mazda-powered Lola LMP1 entry, is “seriously considering” a WeatherTech SportsCar Championship effort according to Chris Dyson.

Speaking to Sportscar365, Dyson refused to confirm discussions with the Japanese manufacturer, which has opened up its race-winning AER-powered Mazda RT24-P DPi package to customer teams for 2020, although he acknowledged talks are ongoing for a “top category” program.

Should the program get the green light, the former ALMS champion would be reunited with longtime co-driver Guy Smith behind the wheel of the DPi entry.

“I can’t comment on what it would be but we are looking again at IMSA and we think the top category is interesting,” Dyson told Sportscar365.

“We’re going to see. There’s still some things up in the air there. I think we’d love to get back in the right situation.

“I think what’s happening in North America right now with IMSA is really exciting.

“When you look at the series being united with a stable set of rules and you look at the speeds of the cars, it’s intriguing.

“We’ve had some discussions, talking about how we could look to get back in at the top level. We only know how to do it one way and that’s the right way.

“We want to make sure all of the pieces are in place.”

Dyson has essentially ruled out a debut in next month’s Rolex 24 at Daytona, admitting the twice-around-the-clock endurance classic wouldn’t be the team’s first race back “for a lot of reasons”.

He would, however, not give a specific timeline should the proposed program materialize.

The team has largely been inactive from professional sports car racing competition since the end of its factory-supported Bentley GT3 program in Pirelli World Challenge in 2015.

“Every month you wait now pushes you back further into the next year,” Dyson said. “There’s nothing finalized.

“Certainly I think Rob [Dyson] would like to get back and do it again if we could.”

Dyson and Smith have been reunited in this weekend’s 8 Hours of Bahrain at the wheel of Team LNT Ginetta G60-LT-P1 AER, with the pairing slated to contest the remainder of the 2019-20 WEC season.

“Obviously for Guy and I tuned back up in prototypes, it’s helpful if we go down that route,” Dyson said.

“We had some great years there and I think we’re both feeling refreshed.

“Guy has been doing a great job running the WEC and you look at the standard here, it’s not necessarily a light field. This is strong competition.

“I think we’re ready either way. But Rome’s not built in a day and to get back into that game right now, and you can’t underestimate how competitive it is, you’ve got to be on the right footing.

“I think if we were to do it, we’d want to make sure we have enough time to build up.”

In addition to Dyson, Spirit of Daytona Racing had been attempting to field a Mazda DPi, although Sportscar365 believes those hopes have faded in recent weeks.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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