6 April 2013: Starworks Motorsport came home in P6 (#2 Alex Popow, Ryan Dalziel) and P12 (#8 Scott Mayer, Brendon Hartley) after a tough GRAND AM Rolex Series ‘Porsche 250’ race at Barber Motorsports Park, Alabama today.

After an extremely wet start to the Rolex Series third round during practice on Thursday, Alex Popow posted a fastest lap of 1:21.760 (101.272 mph) in the #2 Daytona Prototype Ford Riley to lead final practice on Friday. In a reversal of fortune, Scott Mayer in the sister car took a trip off track resulting in the #8 team working on the car for the afternoon and during the qualifying session.

#2 Starworks with Alex Popow Ford Riley: Ryan Dalziel, Alex Popow
#2 Starworks with Alex Popow Ford Riley: Ryan Dalziel, Alex Popow

Photo by: Grand-Am

Alex Popow made a great start from P8 in the race on Saturday afternoon and was comfortably up to P3 when Ryan Dalziel took over the driving duties for ‘Team Popow’ with one hour and 15 minutes remaining. A splash and dash stop put Dalziel in to P7 at half race distance and he rejoined the action in P10. After 2 hours and 84 laps of the 2.300 mile track, Dalziel took the chequered flag in a well-earned, but disappointing P6.

The Fort Lauderdale-based team’s #8 car started P27 on the grid with Scott Mayer. An early driver change saw Kiwi Brendon Hartley take to the charger, but during the opening 30 minutes of the race he came to the pits three times complaining of vibration and the car being loose turning right. A change of left rear tyre and quick all over checks by the Starworks team meant that Hartley then had a lot of ground to make up. Setting continually fast laps he then carved up the field to run P13 by the halfway stage; however traffic and being two laps down prevented Brendon from improving on his finishing position of P12.

Peter Baron, Team Owner: “As the rules currently stand, the Fords really have no chance over the Corvettes on a low end power track like Barber, and the ‘vettes had five more laps on a fuel run today. We knew it was tough going in to Barber, but not this tough. We went off strategy on fuel to hopefully get a lucky break and catch a late yellow, but it never materialized. But the guys did a great job and we’ll look ahead now to the next round and try to figure out a way to get the Fords back up there.”

Ryan Dalziel, car #2: “We are all obviously very disappointed with the result today; we were hoping for a top five finish at least. It was a difficult weekend for everyone; it’s always a tough race at this track and we made the most of the new shorter race format, which doesn’t give you much of an option to gamble. But we had a good strategy and were probably on for that P5 finish, but at least we have some good Championship points and the car is still in one piece. Here’s looking forward to Road Atlanta.” The next round is of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series is at Road Atlanta, Braselton, Georgia on April 18-20, 2013.

Starworks Motorsport