Ryan Dalziel scored his third win of the 2004 Toyota Atlantic Championship on the 1.781-mile Vancouver street circuit, beating current points leader Jon Fogarty by nearly six seconds. Dalziel completed his domination by setting a new track record...
Ryan Dalziel scored his third win of the 2004 Toyota Atlantic Championship on the 1.781-mile Vancouver street circuit, beating current points leader Jon Fogarty by nearly six seconds. Dalziel completed his domination by setting a new track record at 1:08.974, shattering the old record by almost a full second.
"I'm delighted for the whole Sierra Sierra Enterprises team! We've enjoyed a perfect weekend and it's a just reward for everyone following the disappointment in Toronto a couple of weeks ago," exclaimed a happy winner.
The Scotsman led the field to the green flag from the pole position and never looked back. The Sierra Sierra racer is now only 13 points behind Fogarty as the two continue their battle for the championship.
"Vancouver was really a make or break weekend from a championship point of view," explained Dalziel. "I can't over estimate just how important scoring a point in qualifying yesterday was and again today for leading laps and posting the fastest lap of the race. It was a long, tough race and to come away just thirteen points behind Jon with four races remaining is great news for those who love a season-long title fight."
Pacific Coast Motorsports' veteran driver Fogarty has notched four victories this season and leads the Atlantic standings with 212 points with his second place finish in today's 38-lap race.
"The start for Ryan and myself was pretty good," said Fogarty. "I was able to draft him and stay with him. Then he pulled away (as the tires warmed up). Late in the race, I started to match his times again and I felt good about that."
Rookie Ronnie Bremer jumped into the Rookie of the Year standings with a third place finish. He now leads Andrew Ranger by seven points; the two were separated by only one point following the Toronto race.
"As a rookie, it's always good to do well," commented Bremer. "I need to be in the top three in the championship as well. The goal, of course, is to win the championship, but you have to be realistic. The way (Fogarty and Dalziel) are running."
The Polestar Racing rookie sits fourth behind Rahal-Letterrman Racing's Danica Patrick in the overall standings. Patrick came to the finish line in fourth as the last car on the lead lap after a remarkable drive as she was one of the racers in the first lap incident.
Bremer spoke about his podium spot, "This circuit was not so good at first, but it got better and better. I was catching Sellers, then he had what sounded like a gear box problem. He pulled over and I went by."
Third place starter Bryan Sellers did not fare as well today; the Lynx Racing driver ended his day only eight laps into the race with a mechanical failure while in third with a bit of breathing room. Sellers maintained sixth in the overall points.
Ranger dropped to fifth in the standing; second behind Bremer in the RoY with a seventh in today's event. The Sierra Sierra rookie will look for some of his teammates magic to leap back up front at Road America.
A six-car shunt at turn one on the opening lap caused a full-course yellow. Some of those involved limped back to pits. However, rookie Josh Hunt's day ended as his car became airborne. The young Aussie was not injured but he was very disappointed, "If the great wall of China was to fall out of the sky it would probably land right in front of me with the luck I'm having lately," said Hunt.
The next round of the Atlantic series will be held August 6-8 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. The 4.048-mile road course is a challenge and the longest circuit for the drivers and teams this year.