In 2011, Mazda won an IMSA championship with Dyson Racing
Mazda currently races – and has several pole positions and podium finishes – with the smallest engine in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship. It was that way in 2011 as well, when the Dyson Racing Team’s Mazda-powered Lola took the American Le Mans Series LMP1 championship with Chris Dyson and Guy Smith. Not only did the team achieve the drivers’ and team championships as well as capture class wins at Sebring, an overall win at Lime Rock, and a victory for the sister car at Baltimore, but it did so without a single engine failure during the season.
“Our American Le Mans Series championship with Mazda was the culmination of three years of hard work, during which the team and all of its partners worked tremendously close and endured all of the trials and tribulations to achieve the goal,” recalls Dyson. “From a personal standpoint, it was enormously satisfying because we knew inherently that the Mazda-Lola combination was a very strong one.
“AER [Advanced Engine Research] supplied the engines, which were developed at a massive rate in those days. All of those relationships were leveraged to the hilt. I think we brought home some great results for Mazda to give them their first LMP2 and LMP success, and then to sweep the manufacturers’ championship and drivers’ championship – it was just a massive effort and a huge achievement, and I think it has become even better with time.”