POUGHKEEPSIE, NY (May 30, 2023) – It wasn’t what Chris Dyson was looking for on Memorial Day at his home track, but his second-place finish behind Justin Marks at Lime Rock Park meant the two-time defending Trans Am by Pirelli series champion left the rural Connecticut circuit with a bigger point lead than before the weekend began.
“Congratulations to Justin,” Dyson said following the race. “He gave me everything he had. He came back from problems in qualifying and drove a terrific race.”
Dyson, who qualified his #16 GYM Weed Ford Mustang on the front row alongside the #20 GYM Weed Ford Mustang of his pole-winning teammate Matthew Brabham, wrestled with handling problems all weekend. Had the team found a solution to the #16’s chronic understeer, could Dyson have taken Marks in a straight-up fight?
“We can’t deal in hypotheticals in this game,” Dyson said. “Matty and I drove our hearts out today, and Matty did set the fastest race lap, but we honestly just didn’t have the pace to match him over the full distance. But competition is what keeps the fire burning and we are going to work very hard in the weeks before (the next series race at) Indianapolis to get back on top.”
Despite Dyson’s handling issue the race began well for the CD Racing team. Brabham, who eventually finished third in the 100-mile sprint race, took the lead at the start, before Dyson passed him on the second lap. For most of the first half of the race the GYM Weed duo kept Marks’ Camaro in third place. Eventually the vagaries of lapped traffic provided Marks with the opportunities he needed, first to get past Brabham for second place and then Dyson for the race lead. Marks then held the lead comfortably to the finish, despite a red flag period due to damage to the track’s safety barrier system when Tomy Drissi crashed heavily (but fortunately without injury).
CD Racing drivers Dyson and Brabham lead the drivers’ National point standings after four rounds, with three victories between them.
Next Up: Indianapolis Motor Speedway
The Trans Am Series’ next event for the headline TA class is June 15-19 at on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. Dyson won the series most recent race there, in 2019.