With economic uncertainty and the evolving sport car racing landscape, one of North America’s longest-running and most successful operations may be forced to scale back efforts for next year.
Sportscar365 has learned that Dyson Racing has yet to commit to a 2014 program in the Tudor United SportsCar Championship, with multiple options still on the table for the family run team, celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.
According to vice president and sporting director Chris Dyson, three different possibilities are currently being explored, which may or may not put the Poughkeepsie, N.Y.-based squad on the grid for the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring.
“The team will absolutely be racing next year,” Dyson told Sportscar365. “The constitution of that schedule and how it shapes up for us, is to be determined. I don’t foresee us sitting out. It’s an option but not the preferred option right now. Naturally we’d like to be out there competing. But as far as being able to compete in the full season, time is tight for us.”
A stalwart of the American Le Mans Series, Dyson’s P1-class Lola B12/60 Mazda will become obsolete at the end of this year when the category is eliminated in favor of a combined P2/DP/DeltaWing class.
Dyson said the team was committed to a three-year program with their current machinery, purchased in 2012. The loss of the P1 class has forced them to source new equipment one year earlier than their financial projections.
According to Dyson, there are options in both Prototype and GT, including a potential link-up with an existing prototype team that could provide cars and support. Dyson said a Daytona Prototype program is “absolutely not an option” while also ruling out an effort in Prototype Challenge.
“We’ve got a couple of opportunities that we are assessing that would be partnership-based because of the time constraints,” he said. “Nothing right now is firm. We’re really just focusing on getting through the Petit [Le Mans] weekend and picking up the conversation right after that.
“As regards to Daytona or Sebring, there’s one or two opportunities that would get us on the grid and then there’s a couple of opportunities that would mean a later start for 2014 for us.”
The 35-year-old admitted that a Dyson WEC program is unlikely for next year but he’s aiming to take part in some events as a driver. Dyson made three starts with Greaves Motorsport this year and says he’s talking to multiple teams for 2014.
It’s unclear if Dyson Racing’s prospective USCC program will incorporate funded drivers. The team has traditionally employed pro lineups but Dyson and Guy Smith stepped out of the cockpit midway through this year for gentlemen drivers Tony Burgess and Chris McMurry.
“If we’re going to go into it, we want to make sure we show up and we’re competitive,” Dyson said. “It’s important for us to keep the team vibrant and prominent. I think the commercial considerations are important but I think it’s also important for the team to be up front.
“We have to look at the opportunities we have to balance, what’s good for the bottom line and what’s good for the competitiveness.”
Dyson said they’ll have to come to an arrangement in the next few weeks in order to be on the grid for the USCC season-opener on Jan. 25-26.