Chris Dyson is set to make his return to the wheel of a GT3 car next month, as Dyson Racing continues to evaluate a racing return for 2019.
The 2011 American Le Mans Series champion will reunite with former Dyson Racing driver Humaid al Masaood in Beechdean AMR’s new Aston Martin Vantage GT3 in the Gulf 12 Hours, marking Dyson’s debut in the Abu Dhabi enduro.
Joined by Aston Martin Racing factory driver Ross Gunn and team owner Andrew Howard in the British squad, Dyson said the opportunity came through a connection at AMR, which is utilizing the Dec. 13-15 event as the initial customer rollout for its new-for-2019 GT3 car.
“It’s really exciting for Humaid and I to be driving together,” Dyson told Sportscar365. “Since our time working together in the ALMS, we’ve kept in regular contact and had been trying to figure out a way for us to drive together again.
“Ben Bourdaire, who is involved in Aston Martin Racing (sales manager), had reached out. I knew Ben from his Lola days. Ben had asked what we were doing and what my plans were.
“I had mentioned Humaid and I had been talking and had been trying to figure out how we could reignite our racing relationship. With Humaid being from the UAE, running in Abu Dhabi, right in his backyard, seemed like a great opportunity.”
It will mark Dyson’s first time back in a GT3 car since Dyson Racing’s factory-supported program with Bentley in Pirelli World Challenge, which concluded in 2015.
“I’m excited,” he said. “I’ve been to Yas Marina to see the Formula 1 race a few years ago. I think it’s a pretty spectacular track and I’ve heard the event is a really cool one.
“We’ve heard lots of good things about the new Aston GT3. I think for a lot of reasons I’m excited about it. ”
When asked if the outing at Yas Marina Circuit could lead to an Aston Martin GT3 program for the New York-based team next year, Dyson said it’s “too early to say” but said they’re evaluating options for a racing return.
Multiple sources have indicated to Sportscar365 that Dyson Racing could run several Aston Martins in the newly named Blancpain GT World Challenge America in 2019.
“I’m treating the [Gulf 12 Hours] as an event I’ve wanted to do,” Dyson said. “I’m excited to get back to work with Humaid. Who knows what could happen. We haven’t made any decisions as far as next year’s program is concerned.
“There’s a lot of really good choices, not only for cars but also racing series. We’re just trying to figure out the right one. There’s a lot of exciting things happening in sports car racing worldwide and we’re watching it develop with interest.”
While not having raced professionally since the Bentley program, Dyson has kept the core of the team active in Trans-Am competition, through his CD Racing operation, which is planing to continue next year.
“Clearly next season is fast approaching,” Dyson said. “But from a personal standpoint, I’ve got a pretty full plate with my own racing right now.
“We’re taking our time to make sure it’s the right program, technically, competitively and commercially before we jump back in.”