Former American Le Mans Series champion Chris Dyson will make his return to professional road racing behind the wheel of a Ford Mustang in the rising Trans Am Series.
In a new venture for Dyson, the program will be run under the CD Racing banner from within Dyson Racing’s shop in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. In addition to the 800hp TA1 class Mustang, Dyson’s short track racing endeavors will also shift to the CD Racing brand.
“I’ve watched the Trans Am develop over the past several years under Tony Parella’s leadership, getting stronger each season,” Dyson said. “The cars always looked like they would be a nice challenge to drive and there’s plenty of solid competition with a good mix of veterans and young up-and-comers. I did a race late last summer at Watkins Glen and was able to get some first-hand experience. Based on that, I started looking hard at running a program myself in 2018.
“I examined all the options for chassis and engine and I think we have an excellent package. It has been a push for everyone to make it all happen in time, so our expectations are realistic this week. Our rollout test this week at Palm Beach International Raceway went well, so I think we’ll be in reasonably good shape when the season starts at Sebring on Friday.”
A separate facility led by Sean Michael in Pennsylvania has been established for CD Racing’s short track campaign.
“Over the past five years, my passion for open-wheel short-track racing has grown,” he added. “I’ve been fortunate to work with some of the top people in the sport, and at this point, especially with my existing racing and business commitments, it made sense to establish a base close to home, so we can race whenever possible. Sean did a great job preparing our new Beast midget for the Chili Bowl in January. We very nearly made the Qualifying Night A-Main feature at the Chili Bowl and I expect our other cars in our program to have the same excellent level of preparation that we had in Tulsa.”
With Dyson Racing’s ongoing efforts to secure a new racing program, the team’s VP and sporting director felt the differentiation of his individual pursuits warranted the establishment of CD Racing. A similar approach was used in 2004 and 2005 while Dyson competed in the Atlantic Championship while Dyson Racing campaigned a separate effort in the ALMS.
“As my personal racing interests have broadened over the past several years and taken up a significant portion of my time and focus, it made sense to organize them all of them in a single entity,” Dyson added. “It was a less formal arrangement than what I’m doing with CD Racing, but the principle was the same. We ran out of the same shop facility and some key personnel came from Dyson Racing. But the Formula Atlantic campaign ran separately so neither the focus for the ALMS or Atlantic efforts would be diluted. I was able to focus completely on my job as driver for both programs.”
Midget and sprint car racing have been Dyson’s primary form of racing enjoyment in recent years. Bringing road racing back into his rotation with 11 Trans Am rounds to added to the calendar should make for a busy season split between dirt and pavement.
“This year,” he said, “we have a lot to look forward to, and I am really looking forward to competing frequently again.”