WATKINS GLEN, N.Y., July 2 â€“ The No. 84 Dawson Racing D3+Transformers team turned in a sixth-place result in the LMP3 class of the WeatherTech 240 at Watkins Glen International on Friday evening, wrapping up two races in six days at the historic track in Upstate New York.
Less than a week after the Dawson team made its debut in the Sahlenâ€™s Six Hours of the Glen with another sixth-place result, Fridayâ€™s two-hour and 40-minute contest represented the first sprint race for the organization in the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. However, while the six-hour race was relatively drama free for the group, the team and drivers Theodor Olsen and Dominic Cicero faced numerous challenges during this weekendâ€™s event on the 3.4-mile, 11-turn road course.
Olsen qualified in the fifth position on Thursday in the Dawson Ligier JS P320 despite a spin while vying for second on the grid, but he was required to start from the rear of the grid per IMSA rules after the team elected to change engines overnight. Soon after the race began the young Norwegian driver found himself down on power and was forced to go to the garage around the 40-minute mark to replace faulty fuel injectors.
As the team made repairs, rain came during the raceâ€™s first full-course yellow with just over an hour complete. The red flag was soon displayed for lightning in the area, with the race stopped for a total of 45 minutes and 47 seconds.
The No. 84 was back on track with Dominic Cicero behind the wheel when the green flag was again displayed with just 36 minutes remaining. The driver from La Quinta, California, piloted the car on a damp, but drying racetrack until the engine issues returned and the team elected to retire with eight laps remaining. Part of the decision was a show of sportsmanship to not affect the outcome of the race in any class due to being down on power.
The No. 74 from Riley Motorsports claimed the LMP3 win, with the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac taking the overall victory.
Ian Dawson, CEO/COO, No. 84 D3+Transformers LMP3:
“The target was to get a good finish; we changed the engine as a precaution to make sure we could do that and unfortunately right from lap one we had a problem with the engine we tried to rectify. We lost 19 laps while the injectors were changed. The engine ran okay for a little while, but then started to slow and slow and slow, and rather than cause any damage with eight laps to go we decided to just bring the car to the garage and save a potential blown engine or jeopardizing someone elseâ€™s race.â€
Theodor Olsen, driver, No. 84 D3+Transformers LMP3:
â€œIt was not the race we expected today. We had a good feeling when we were out on the grid, all the fans were watching and some children came by and said, â€˜Good luck and nice car with the Transformers.â€™ That really elevated my whole feeling about this. We were really hoping for a good race. When the green lights came on, we didnâ€™t have the power like the other cars in front of me. I couldnâ€™t get up to them. So, I then told Ian [Dawson] that we had some problem with the engine knowing we changed engines yesterday and he had me bring it back to the garage for repairs. We need to find out why the new engine had injector issues and go from there.â€
Dominic Cicero, driver, No. 84 D3+Transformers LMP3:
â€œIt was my first time in the car for the weekend when I got in for a stint after the garage stop. I hadnâ€™t really done any laps yet and was trying to get used to the wets [tires] and the new setup in the middle of a restart, which was difficult to say the least. I was just trying to stay out of everybodyâ€™s way so we would not ruin their race. I know we were a few laps down from our fuel issue. We had a fuel injector issue that caused a loss of power. So, we were just out there more to cruise around and see if we fixed it. That was the hardest part, just not messing up the GTD and prototypes and everybodyâ€™s race, with tough conditions. It was drying; it was super wet on the â€Bootâ€ side of the track with slicks on, and then it was dry on sector one, and coming through these last couple corners of sector three and then into one. It was a risk-reward issue I think for me, so I did not push too hard. But we had the same issue that we came in for earlier in the race. The engine was cutting power and we couldnâ€™t keep up with anybody on the straightaway. Such a pity.
â€œI think instead of damaging the motor and all the laps we were down already, we decided to bring the car back in. Then I think for me I just felt like we were a hindrance in the race with the DPis, because we were off the pace there and I was running more with the GTDs and their pace. I think the wiser part of that was to regroup and reset and to figure out whatâ€™s wrong.â€
Dawson Racing partners for the No. 84 entry include Hasbro, Chevron Technology Ventures and Gnarly Jerky.
For more information, please visit www.dawsonracing.com.
About Dawson Racing:
Dawson Racing is a highly competent manager, owner and operator of an international sports car racing team. Its principals, Ian and Simon Dawson, have over 60 years of experience with factory and private global racing teams including engineering, technology, infrastructure and marketing resources.
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