Scottish racer set for Sebring Test

Scottish racing's hottest prospect Ryan Dalziel, runner up in the US-based 2003 CART Toyota Atlantic Championship, looks set to reach the upper echelons of motorsport courtesy of a maiden Champ Car test with Walker Racing at Sebring Raceway, Florida on 10-11 December.

Ryan Dalziel.
Photo by Rage PR.
The 21-year-old from Lanarkshire, a double winner this season, will step up from his 165mph Toyota Atlantic racecar to the unadulterated power of a 750bhp turbocharged 240mph Champ Car when he tests in America next month. The Champ Car Series, America's premier open-wheel category, combines races on ovals, street circuits and road courses with foreign excursions including trips to Australia, Canada and Mexico.

Commenting on his forthcoming test Ryan enthused:
"This is a fabulous opportunity for me and one I've been working towards all season. Champ Cars are awesome racing machines, this will be by far the fastest car I have tested to-date, but I'm relishing the increase in power and look forward to a productive two days in Florida with Walker Racing. It'll be a busy few days for me as after the test I'm flying straight back to Scotland to attend the Scottish Motor Racing Club's annual dinner dance on Saturday 13th!"

Dalziel's final step up the racing ladder comes courtesy of fellow-Scot Derrick Walker. Born in Leven, Fife, Derrick (58) formed Indianapolis-based Walker Racing 12 years ago to contest the Champ Car Series, quickly developing a reputation for excellence based on his vast experience in the category working for Penske Racing. This season the team ran former BAR F1 test driver and Champ Car rookie Darren Manning to ninth overall and runner-up in the Jim Trueman Rookie of the Year standings with the Ford-Reynard-Bridgestone package.

Ryan Dalziel.
Photo by Eric Gilbert.
Walker is equally excited to be giving his countryman his first Champ Car experience:
"Ryan's proved himself to be one of Scotland's finest up-and-coming racing talents, his success here in America is testament to that. I'm delighted to give Ryan his first Champ Car test, he's the first Scottish driver to run for me and I hope his outing at Sebring will help determine his options for racing in 2004."

Having switched his blossoming race career Stateside at the start of 2002, Ryan Dalziel has continued to make a name for himself in the ultra-competitive US racing scene, collecting podiums and poles in his rookie season before going on this year to score two race wins for Sierra Sierra Racing, including his first on an oval circuit, from a total of nine podium finishes in 12 races. Two pole positions and three lap records merely serve to highlight the flying Scotsman's supreme pace as he finished runner up in the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship, the recognised feeder series to Champ Car.