Dalziel claims Cleveland victory Scotland's Ryan Dalziel ended any hopes of an all-American celebration in Cleveland today as he stamped his authority in Ohio following up yesterday's pole position with a lights-to-flag victory in Round 6 of the...
Dalziel claims Cleveland victory
Scotland's Ryan Dalziel ended any hopes of an all-American celebration in Cleveland today as he stamped his authority in Ohio following up yesterday's pole position with a lights-to-flag victory in Round 6 of the Toyota Atlantic Championship this afternoon.
While the United States celebrates the 4th of July this weekend, Ryan's supreme speed round the 2.106-mile Burke Lakefront Airport road course means the 22-year-old Scot can celebrate heading into the second half of the season sitting second overall in the standings just three points from the series leader, America's Jon Fogarty.
Ryan's triumph comes off the back of his second place podium finish in Portland last time round. With confidence high following his first trip to the podium since he dominated proceedings in Long Beach back in April, Dalziel and the Sierra Sierra Enterprises team were out to capitalize in Cleveland.
From the first timed session on Thursday through to the chequered flag at the end of the 32-lap race Ryan's #28 ProWorks Swift was the car to beat and try as they might the opposition just failed to get the better of an on-form Dalziel. With a clean get-away at the start Ryan managed to work out a 16-second advantage from the chasing pack before a yellow caution period at the end of the race closed the pack.
Safeguarding his lead at the re-start Ryan once again ensured all on-track incidents were firmly behind him as he raced to the chequered flag, claiming his second win of the year ahead of Bryan Sellers and Danica Patrick. Having secured valuable points for pole position and victory, Ryan further bolstered his points haul from the weekend courtesy of setting the fastest lap of the race.
Speaking following the podium celebrations Dalziel enthused:
"I can't really complain about today's performance! I'm absolutely delighted that we've been able to maintain our competitive edge here this weekend having been fastest throughout all the sessions leading up to this afternoon's race."
He continued: "I made a great start and simply concentrated on keeping out of trouble and building an advantage. I was comfortable with the re-start as I knew I had the speed in the car to pull away. It's great to be back in Victory Lane and I really hope we can carry the momentum from Cleveland into next weekend's race in Toronto."
Ryan now sits second to Jon Fogarty in the title battle with 146 points to 149. With six races down and six to go the fight for the championship headed by Fogarty, 2002 Series Champion and Dalziel, 2003 Runner-Up, looks set to be an engaging one with the potential to go all the way to Round 12 at Laguna Seca in September.
The Toyota Atlantic Series now heads north across the border to Canada and the streets of Toronto for Round 7 next weekend, 9th-11th July.