PCM set for Sonoma Oxnard, California (July 14, 2005) - The 2005 American Le Mans Series ("ALMS") reaches the halfway marker this weekend, 15th-17th July, with the 'Infineon Technologies Grand Prix of...
PCM set for Sonoma
Oxnard, California (July 14, 2005) - The 2005 American Le Mans Series ("ALMS") reaches the halfway marker this weekend, 15th-17th July, with the 'Infineon Technologies Grand Prix of Sonoma', Round 5 of 10, hosted at the Infineon Raceway, California.
The first of two 'home' races for California-based Pacific Coast Motorsports ("PCM"), the rookie GT1 outfit heads into this weekend buoyed by their most competitive outing yet campaigning the #5 Menards-Yokohama Corvette C5-R.
Lime Rock Park's 'Independence Day' feature saw PCM pilots Alex Figge and Ryan Dalziel mix wheel to wheel with their closest GT1 rivals, the Maserati MC12 and the Saleens S7-R, before scoring their highest overall finish to- date, seventh place, while taking fifth in GT1. As usual the factory- backed Corvette C6-R's proved to be the class of the field but PCM's efforts in marrying the ageing Corvette C5-R with an all-new Yokohama tire program brought continued performance gains.
Sunday's 2-hour 45-minute race at the 2.53-mile, 12-turn Infineon Raceway, located 30-minutes north of San Francisco in the heartland of the state's wine producing region, will see the team eager to extend their season-long streak of top-ten finishes and work towards their first class podium.
"We're excited heading into this weekend's race," commented Tyler Tadevic, PCM Team Director. "We were at our most competitive at Lime Rock Park and I would expect us to continue that trend at Sonoma. Our learning curve has been a steep one, this is just our fifth ALMS start, but we have high hopes for Sunday based on our recent performance gains."
He continued, "We've got an awesome crew together for this program and a great driver pairing. David Empringham's coaching and input with the drivers is fantastic and Alex and Ryan have done a superb job behind the wheel. I'm stoked that we have Ryan back with us this weekend. We know his desire is to race in Champ Cars and we were thrilled he had the opportunity to race at the Molson Indy Toronto last weekend. He did a great job and deserves to be there."
"The situation's a little double-edged as I'm glad for our sakes that we have Ryan back with us, as we really value his talent, but I'm also sad for his sake that his performance in Toronto hasn't led to further opportunities," said Tadevic. "I'm disappointed in both Dale Coyne and Champ Car for letting someone like Ryan go following such a promising debut. I know Ryan's keen to get another opportunity and I just hope next time round he's given a car that's actually worthy of his talents. In the meantime it's good for us to have him back, we're proud to have him as part of the PCM team!"
Dalziel returns to sports car competition with PCM following a ninth place finish on his Champ Car World Series debut in Toronto last Sunday, 10th July.
"I'm looking forward to racing the Corvette again," remarked the 23-year- old Scot. "Alex and I felt we had a car we could really race with at Lime Rock Park and as a result we were able to mix it up a little with some of our GT1 rivals. We only lost out because the caution periods benefited some of the others fuel strategies but overall it was a positive performance and one which we hope to build on this weekend at Sonoma. Infineon Raceway's a great track to race at thanks to its dips and turns and it's turned into a really great venue as well. I enjoy being there and can't wait to go racing on Sunday."
For Alex Figge, Sunday's race represents a chance to race on home soil for the first time this season.
"This race coupled with the final round at Laguna Seca gives me the opportunity to compete on tracks I've been going to for many years," explained the Californian. "I'm particularly excited heading into this weekend's event knowing we've made progress with our race package. We had the opportunity to test the Corvette at the Infineon Raceway earlier in the season so it'll be interesting to see how we run once the green flags waive us off. Hopefully we'll continue our learning curve, keep our reliability run intact and come away with another strong finish."
Sunday's race is scheduled to get underway at 11am Pacific Time with television coverage provided by CBS Sports between 2-5pm Eastern Time.
Pacific Coast Motorsports 2005 ALMS campaign is supported by valued team partners - Menards, Yokohama and Ironclad.