One of the most colourful Sportscar racers in recent times decided to hang up his helmet after the 2006 ALMS finale at Laguna Seca two weeks ago. After over 30 years of competing, James Weaver spoke about his 'enormous privilege' of racing for Dyson Racing these past 20 years.
"One of the hardest decisions for any sportsman is knowing when it is time to leave the playing field. Experience holds you in good stead, but eventually time tips the scales against you.
“I have been racing for over thirty years and twenty of those with Rob Dyson. It has been an enormous privilege to know him and to be part of his team. No driver could ask for a better environment in which to enjoy the sport. I was able to do what I loved doing – how I liked doing it. It was brilliant fun to be able to be a part of a sport I love and very unusual to be able to do it on my terms – all of which I have Rob to thank for.
“Rob’s charismatic leadership and generosity have made Dyson Racing a unique team. Leaving my home and family of the past twenty years is the toughest thing I have ever done and I will very much miss the friendships and camaraderie.
“I could not have made my career in racing without the help of numerous people and I would like to acknowledge my heart felt debt to them. Dyson Racing is only a small team, but historically we have always had excellent suppliers, many of whom have become friends. They have played a huge part in our success and I would like to thank them for their support and friendship.
“In looking back, some of my happiest memories are of test days with our old friends at Goodyear. We also had great fun with Riley & Scott, Ben Lozano, Lola, AER, AP, Pagid, Reid Washbon, and the folks from Penske Shocks - the list is exhaustive!
During all these years, Marion Champlain did a fantastic job of feeding us and making sure that Dyson Racing always had the plum hotels. And Alyson Kimball proved time and time again that she is the best sports physiotherapist in the business. As always, it is the people that make the difference.
“None of this would be possible without IMSA and the ALMS and I would like to wish them every success for their bright future and thank all of their staff. The race officials, corner workers and the fans are the foundation of racing. The enthusiastic support of the fans means so much to a driver and has been very much appreciated over the years.
“I particularly want to thank everyone on the team and my teammates for making it so much fun. Rob and his long standing crew chief, Pat Smith, Ben Lozano, Bob Akin, Andy, Butch, Chris, Marion, Bob Shaffer and my friends at Goodyear, you are all very much in my thoughts.
“Racing with Rob has enabled me to see the best of America and I leave with the best of memories and a great regard for the country, the people, and above all for Rob, who will always be ‘The Guvnor.’”
James Weaver Career Highlights
- 100 career wins
- Sixty-nine poles
- Seventy-six fastest laps
- Forty-one lap records
- Over 200 podium finishes
2006 Second place ALMS LMP1 - seven podiums, two poles
2005 Fifth place ALMS LMP1 - two wins, five podiums
2004 Second place ALMS LMP1 - one win, five podiums
2003 Sixth place ALMS LMP675 – two wins, five podiums
2002 Third place Grand Am - four wins, seven podiums
2001 First place Grand Am - six wins, nine podiums
2000 First place Grand Am - four wins, six podiums
1999 Third place USRRC CanAm - one win, two podiums
1998 First place USRR CanAm - three wins, four podiums
Fourth place PSR World Sports Car - three wins, four podiums
1997 Third place PSR World Sports Car - four wins, seven podiums
1996 First place Global GT Championship - five wins
1995 Second place IMSA World Sports Car - five wins, seven podiums
1994 IMSA World Sports Car - one win: Sebring 12 Hours
1993 IMSA GTP Championship - Daytona 24 Hours, second in class
Indy Lights Championship – Dyson Racing Lola/Buick
1992 British Touring Car Championship – Nissan Primera GT
1991 IMSA GTP Championship
1990 Sixth place IMSA GTP Championship - one win, one podium
1989 Second place British Touring Car - eleven wins, Class B champion;
IMSA GTP - one podium; CART Indy Car – Dyson Racing
1988 Fourth place IMSA GTP Championship - two wins, four podiums
1987 IMSA GTP – one win, Atlanta (first with Dyson), two podiums
1986 IMSA GTP; World Sports Car Championship
1985 World Sports Car Championship - second Le Mans; Japanese Group C
1984 British & European Touring Car - one win, three poles
1983 Third place European F3; British Thundersports Series - four wins
1982 Fourth place European F3 - three wins; fifth place British F3
1981 Sixth place British F3 Championship - one win
1980 Second place Derwent TV Sports 2000 Championship - six wins
1979 Second place Townsend Thoresen FF1600 - twelve wins
1978 Fifth place TT FF 1600 and Phillips FF 1600 - five wins
1976 Third place Dunlop FF 1600 Championship - five wins