The P1 Dance

June 29, 2013

The P1 Dance

June 29, 2013

dysonThe high speed dance of the scorpions featuring the 2011 ALMS P1 champions from Dyson Racing and the 2012 champions from Muscle Milk Pickett Racing resumes here at Lime Rock Park.

With two ultra-competitive and highly successful teams both accustomed to success, advantages are difficult to gain and often short-lived.

As a result, races often become sparring matches as drivers, pit crews, engineers and strategists match speed, counter-moves and wits as the race unfolds.

Both teams have tasted success in the Northeast Grand Prix at the 1.5-mile 7-turn Lime Rock Park circuit.

The home race advantage brings much support for the Poughkeepsie, NY-based Dyson Racing team that is celebrating their 30th year in professional racing. Many of the team’s milestones have occurred at Lime Rock including tasting victory here in 2011. The team will celebrate its 30 years of racing with a Fan Forum/Roast for Rob Dyson on Friday evening.

But Lime Rock Park has also been good to the Benicia, California-based Muscle Milk squad. The team scored its first ever ALMS overall race victory here in 2010 and rolled off another victory in 2012.

Yet, despite the close competition on the track, the rivalry between the two teams is friendly and respectful as befits the style of the two founding generals, Rob Dyson and Greg Pickett, both successful businessman and sportsmen with lengthy records of success in motorsports.

The opening rounds of the 2013 ALMS season have not been so kind to the Dyson squad as the team has struggled with a frustrating series of mechanical gremlins.

The recent seven-week schedule break for the 24 Hours of Le Mans may have been just what the doctor ordered for the team to sort issues and prepare for a track that team leader Chris Dyson has been visiting since he was old enough to wear ear plugs.

The Muscle Milk Pickett Honda team and drivers Lucas Luhr and Klaus Graf arrive at Lime Rock Park looking for their third consecutive victory of the season and have built a substantial lead in the ALMS P1 championship.

That leaves the Dyson Lola Mazda squad and drivers Chris Dyson and Guy Smith, with a simple option, go for the win.

With the merger of the ALMS and GRAND-AM series combining in the United Sports Car Racing series in 2014, this is likely the last Lime Rock go round for the big LMP1 class cars before the new era begins.

It was Audi’s ace, Allan McNish who once described racing a P1 class prototype here at Lime Rock as the equivalent of flying jet fighter planes in your living room. Despite rules and track changes to slow the cars, lap times remain in the 45-second range.

So the two premier teams will roll out at Lime Rock to renew both their battle and their friendship, fighting hard, but fair and entertaining all who have come to savor the dance.

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