Oryx Racing, which partnered with Dyson Racing for a full LMP1 campaign in the 2011 American Le Mans Series, is striking out on its own with a full Grand-Am Rolex Series season planned in an Audi R8.
Based in the United Arab Emirates, the team made its debut on U.S. soil in 2011 with drivers Humaid Al Masaood (ABOVE) and Steven Kane and won overall at Baltimore. Saeed Al Mehairi joins those two for the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
“We've got to be realistic,” said team manager Tom Maplethorpe. “The Rolex 24 will be the first race in the U.S. in the new Audi R8 Grand-Am. We're not going to make any bold statements, we're going to take it one step at a time. We're sure Audi has produced a great car. It's already proven itself. We'll have to see how we get on with it.”
The team's Rolex Series operation will be based outside Indianapolis in West College Corner, Ind.
Oryx crew chief Will Rowden attended the December Rolex Series test at Daytona International Speedway, observing the first U.S. test of the Audi R8.
The team's first test with the new Audi will be the Roar before the Rolex 24 on Jan. 6-8 at Daytona.
Dyson in ALMS has indicated it still plans to run two full-season P1 entries but has not made an official announcement.