WATKINS GLEN, N.Y., June 27 – The No. 84 Dawson Racing D3+Transformers LMP3 accomplished the team’s goal in its inaugural International Motor Sport Association (IMSA) WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen today of being a class contender and just finishing its debut endurance race.
Qualifying and starting driver Theodor Olsen began the race from pit road and in the last position instead of in the fifth in LMP3 class qualifying position after a small rotor issue in the morning warm-up. This included a drive through penalty following the race start for missing the installation lap. The team got a break with a wave by on the first caution and Olsen wasted no time to climb the charts and was up to fourth position by Lap 16. He took a quick fuel only stop on Lap 21 a little over an hour into the race and continued to earn his wings as a professional U.S. sports car racing driver as brought the Ligier up to second in class before his second pit stop.
Olsen relinquished the cockpit to teammate Dominic Cicero on Lap 50, who drove a double stint and watched traffic to have a steady drive with no issues.
Ben Devlin was the third driver in rotation for the team and had a few challenges, including the balance of the car and had lost radio communication with the team. He made an emergency pit stop on Lap 123 because of a big vibration (due to contact with another car) for a tire change and to get the radio communications sorted. He had one additional full pit stop of Lap 151 under caution before bringing it to the finish.
Four full course cautions for 27 laps for various on track accidents gave numerous opportunities for close racing and fierce battles on restarts. In the end, the No. 84 D3+Transformers finished sixth in LMP3 class.
Ian Dawson, CEO/COO, No. 84 D3+Transformers LMP3:
“First of all, it’s great to be back at Watkins Glen after six of seven years out. Amazingly, I was here in the first Group C car in 1981 in July in an IMSA race and was also the year Simon was born. So, there’s quite a lot of history here and not just with the team coming back, but us coming back under our own name was really important. Just seeing the amount of people that have really supported us to get here. Same thing is to come here with really commercial partners, and three great people together in our superb driver line up. I couldn’t be happier that we’ve been able to continue the vision we saw with Theodor five years ago. Ben, we’ve known since he was 12, and here we are with him as our driver as we’ve talked about for so many years. Dominic came into the team new to us, but he just fits so well and he’s such a team player. I think the three of them gelled very well and when you work with a lot of drivers in your life, these three are just a pleasure to be with. It’s difficult when you run a family team as you put everyone in the family under a lot of stress but here, we are with three generations, as Simon’s son, my grandson Dylan, is also here helping us also.
“We were pleased to have two women from the Paretta Autosport IndyCar team, fresh off the Indy 500, that joined us as the front tire changers who did a great job. I’ve worked with a number of women over the years, including Lyn St. James as a driver in her early career, and we wish to continue giving diversity opportunities with our crew.”
“We’re happy with the results because they are what we said. We wanted to go to the six-hour race and our goal was to start and finish the race and that’s what we did. We got up into the podium position level and it proves to me that we can do it and be competitive. We’re learning more about IMSA again and it’s been a real pleasure working with them as they’ve been very helpful. We had an excellent experience with Michelin and tire management was key to be able to pull the car back into contention. We know we can just grow from here.”
Theodor Olsen, driver, No. 84 D3+Transformers LMP3:
“I think the weekend went well. We finished the six-hour race and that was the big thing. It’s really nice to race with all the guys but it’s also difficult with all the GT cars and Prototype. My stint was really nice and I was able to get a good feel for the car. There was so much traffic because I started from the back of the field. I just tried to pass everyone and get up there; then we got the full course yellow so I could get back in the field and behind everyone. Then I continued to overtake them. We were in P2 when I pitted and that was really good. I’m looking forward to getting back on track again next week for Race 2.”
Dominic Cicero, driver, No. 84 D3+Transformers LMP3:
“I feel my stint went very smooth. There was some crazy traffic that was out there. It was exciting, but hard to get used to. It was amazing working with some of the GTLM and GTD cars. We had almost an understanding where they would pass me at certain places or whatever. The DP cars were blindly quick. It was so cool being next to those cars.
“My overview of the weekend is positive. It was good to get a step forward and just putting one foot in front of the other. There was a lot of learning curves and hurdles to overcome as a new team — from driver changes to pit stops to equipment to whatever. All the things as you build a team, in general from business to racing, everyone gets in sync, and I think we did that really well. Hopefully all the partners received good coverage and we’ll try to extend on that for the next race next weekend. We’re on primetime next weekend so that will be huge to activate on that.”
Ben Devlin, driver, No. 84 D3+Transformers LMP3:
“In all, the driver changes and everything went well. The guys did a great job on fueling and tire changes and everything in the pits. We went out, it was a smooth running, but we had slightly contact with the Mazda and I think that damaged the left rear floor. Something didn’t feel right with the car but after the pit stop and new tires the car came alive for the second stint, and we were able to work through the traffic after the pit stop.
“Everybody has achieved such hard work to get here this weekend. We never came here thinking we were going to win on the inaugural outing. It was really important to finish and keep it in a grove to bring it home for Simon, Ian, Dawson Racing and everybody who’s helped get the team here. Theo drove fantastic in the first stint and showed us what we could do. We had the pace to be here today. Dominic then got in and did a great job. I think I got the bad luck unfortunately, but it was a really good effort for everyone on the team. Everyone should pat themselves on the back and go away pleased.”
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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