Rob And Chris On 2006 – And James
This Dyson Racing press release so neatly sums up a season a
race, a weekend, a day – and a good-bye to one of the greats
- that we post it in its entirety… with much more to come
from young James Weaver.
CA October 21, 2006 - James Weaver, one of the best sports
car racers of all time, announced his retirement today (Saturday)
at the conclusion of today's season ending American Le Mans race
at Laguna Seca. He closed out his unparalleled career on top, winning
second place honors in the 2006 American La Mans series championship.
Weaver has driven
for Dyson Racing for twenty years. He has 100 career victories -
achieving that milestone at Mosport in 2005. He is one of the world's
finest sports car racers: he has claimed sixty seven poles, seventy
fastest laps, thirty six lap records, and over 200 podium finishes.
is phenomenal," said team owner Rob Dyson. "He has been
one of the primary factors in our success these past twenty years.
James was always willing to put in more hours than any other driver
to get the car right, and that is what separated him from everyone
James won thirty-three
races and three championships for Dyson Racing.
was classic Weaver. The #16 Thetford / Norlcold car started sixth
for the four hour race into dusk. Weaver started the car and passed
everyone in front of him - twice-- and took advantage of the team's
strategy to bring it in first place when pitting at both the one
hour and two hour mark.
The car ended
up fourth in class. Chris Dyson got in at the two hour mark and
when it went green on lap 97, he executed an Alex Zanardi-like move
at the Corkscrew to pass the number two Audi for second, where he
remained for several laps. Unfortunately, the American's set of
tires were not consistent, and as the track temperatures fell, the
car developed understeer that took away from the optimum handling
the car enjoyed the first half of the race.
But today was more than just a race. It marked an
end of an era.
with James in his last race is a great honor," said Chris Dyson.
"He is what every driver aspires to be and more importantly,
what every person aspires to be. There is no one more honorable,
upstanding and giving as a person. He has been a member of our family,
and he's one of the most influential people in my life. That will
never change. It's an emotional day for all of us, but we're looking
forward to the next challenge. James would have it no other way."
Rinaldo Capelo 204
James Weaver 119
Butch Leitzinger 106
Emanuele Pirro 99
Frank Beila 99
Chris Dyson 73
Guy Smith 60
thoughts on the 2006 season:
"I think what we have shown this season is
that amidst an assimilation of a brand new car and a brand new engine,
our team is capable of handling almost anything. I think with the
help of Lola and AER and all of our suppliers, we have been able
to accomplish quite a bit. The overriding thing I feel is that the
guys have done a terrific job in evolving the cars and making them
work better. The long and short of it is that we have proven ourselves
to be a very innovative team: a bunch of guys who can work very
hard in a situation where many components had to be designed, redesigned,
run, redesigned, and run again. We put in some very credible results
season has some negatives. We had one with the crash of the #20
car at the Petit Le Mans that was brought about by a component part
failure. That is always a fearful and fearsome thing to have occur.
But the main thing is that Guy Smith is fine and bouncing his baby
girl on his knee even as we speak.
it all comes down to people, passion and commitment and I think
our guys showed all of that this year in spades. And our drivers
are the best. I think this was the year that Guy Smith showed that
he was an excellent addition. He came on and did a terrific job
for us: he is quick and good with the car. Guy is fully stitched
into the fabric of Dyson Racing. This year showed that Chris is
coming into his prime. As a set-up driver, he has learned his lessons
from the master, James. I think Butch has shown his remarkable ability
to do whatever has to be done, when it has to be done with no effort.
The highest compliment I can pay to Butch is that he is low maintenance.
The guy is a consummate pro, gets in the car, does his job, is great
with the crew and great with the car. Andy Wallace joined us for
the longer races this year and did a phenomenal job as always. He
was busy with some other commitments this year but he was on it
every time he returned to our team.
When I talk
about James, what can I say? He is the complete package. He is the
master and has been our team leader for twenty years, a number one's
number one. He is the ultimate example of what every team is looking
for: capable, disciplined, pays attention to every detail and is
constantly striving to make the car better. He never accepts the
situation we are in, rather saying we can always do better. And
aggressively perusing it in an articulate, calm and enthusiastic
way. And in addition, when he gets out on the track, there is no
competitor that does it better. He is fast, safe, smart and immensely
capable on a race track. It has been a singular honor to have James
as a comrade in arms and as a friend for twenty years."
captured these images late on during the Laguna Seca race, perfectly
capturing Chris Dyson in #16 in the third one.