Front Row Finale for Dalziel and Fogarty The fight for the 2004 Toyota Atlantic Championship enters the final chapter tomorrow morning with a story book front-row thanks to this afternoon's final qualifying session for the 30-lap title showdown...
Front Row Finale for Dalziel and Fogarty
The fight for the 2004 Toyota Atlantic Championship enters the final chapter tomorrow morning with a story book front-row thanks to this afternoon's final qualifying session for the 30-lap title showdown at Laguna Seca Raceway.
Ryan Dalziel's provisional pole time of 1m18.921s, set in yesterday's first session, was the benchmark for much of final qualifying today before the Scot's title rival and current series leader, America's Jon Fogarty, toured the 2.238-mile California circuit in 1m18.646s to snatch pole position.
Fogarty's efforts have ensured a classic front-row start for tomorrow's season finale with the title protagonists lining up side-by-side to take the green flag. Dalziel starts second courtesy of his provisional pole from Friday 0x2022 Sunday's race marking the 22-year-old's seventh front-row start this season. The gap between Fogarty and Dalziel at the top of the championship standings is restored to five, 295-290, with the Californian duly picking up the bonus point for today's fastest lap.
Dalziel's qualifying outing proved to be a testing one with several changes made to the #28 ProWorks car throughout the session. Ryan and the Sierra Sierra Enterprises team worked late into the evening yesterday discussing set-up for today's qualifying run. Unfortunately for both parties the changes implemented and subsequently altered during the 30-minute session failed to land the five-time pole winner the required slot at the top of the timesheets and the all important pole position.
Post-session Ryan reflected:
"We worked late last night as we knew the car wasn't quite right despite the time we set yesterday in qualifying. The changes made didn't pay off and I knew we were struggling following this morning's free practice. Unfortunately during the qualifying session every change we made subsequently made something else on the car worse.
"We de-toured a little from our standard set-up and it hurt us. We've got work to do because as things stand we know we haven't got a car quick enough to take the lead. I've no doubt we'll work things out though, the team have given me a car capable of fighting for the championship and I'll continue to take that fight all the way to the chequered flag tomorrow morning."
Dalziel and Fogarty have almost exclusively shared the spoils between them this season with Ryan claiming four wins from five pole positions and Jon five wins and a total of six poles after today. In addition Ryan has racked up three second place finishes and set five fastest race laps entering tomorrow's race, Round 12 of the Toyota Atlantic Championship.
The green flag for the Grand Prix of Monterey is set to wave tomorrow morning at 10:30am Pacific Time. Just 30-laps separate this season's to-be-declared champion from glory.