The Dyson Racing team endured a tough start to its time with the new Lola-Mazda package after both cars were forced to retire from the Sebring Twelve Hours.

The team went into the opening round of the American Le Mans Series having put in 103 hours of work in six days to prepare both cars for the race, which saw them go up against the Lowe's Fernandez Acura for honours in the LMP2 class.

Unfortunately, things didn't go to plan as the #16 car of Chris Dyson, Guy Smith and Andy Lally was forced to retire after five hours, with the sister car of Butch Leitzinger, Marino Franchitti and Ben Devlin following suit just 15 minutes later.

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"It was a really tough week for the whole BP Dyson Racing Mazda team, and I have to thank our guys for all the sleepless nights they endured in getting us onto the starting grid," Franchitti said. "Of course we're all disappointed we couldn't make it to the end of the race, but Sebring is one of the toughest challenges in the world of sportscars, as it proved today. As new as the programme is, there are always going to be these teething troubles as we develop the package, but we learned a lot during this race that will help us going forward.

"It's going to be tough to recover in the championship battle after not scoring points here, but we'll give it our best. We have nine more rounds to try and catch up the lead which the Fernandez team gained here, and we start with St Pete in just two week's time."

Dyson also admitted there was disappointment at not being able to fight for victory, but said there were still positives to take from the event.

"This week has been a very productive time for us," he said. "The hours here have been well spent as there is no tougher environment to sort out a new car than the runways of Sebring. We took a conservative approach to the week. We know the car has more speed in it and we will go to St. Petersburg in two weeks time well positioned in our knowledge base for the rest of the season."