Ryan fifth at the flag Scotland's Ryan Dalziel posted his highest finish of the season since his Long Beach victory back in April today in Round 4 of the Toyota Atlantic Championship hosted at the Portland International Raceway. Dalziel piloted...
Ryan fifth at the flag
Scotland's Ryan Dalziel posted his highest finish of the season since his Long Beach victory back in April today in Round 4 of the Toyota Atlantic Championship hosted at the Portland International Raceway. Dalziel piloted his Sierra Sierra Enterprises entry to a fifth place finish in what was a fairly processional 35-lap outing which was won by 2002 series champion Jon Fogarty.
With the sun beating down on the grid the field was waved to green and Ryan wasted no time in improving on his seventh place starting position. Up to sixth by the end of the first tour round the 1.9-mile circuit, Dalziel then chased Jonathan Bomarito ahead who in turn was chasing Brian Sellers in fourth.
10-laps in and both Dalziel and Bomarito seized their opportunity to pass the slower car of Sellers, both pilots moving up one position with Sellers relegated to sixth behind Ryan. Ryan's move was skillfully executed at the first turn having pulled out of a perfect tow from Sellers down the start-finish straight. A yellow caution period a couple of laps later successfully bunched the field together but it proved to be short lived as Fogarty and Patrick got the jump on the pack when the track eventually went green.
Ryan, sitting fifth, closed on Bomarito who in turn gained on Ryan's team-mate Andrew Ranger, the young Canadian sitting third. With Ranger unable to give chase to Patrick he soon led a four-car train with Figge shadowing Ryan in sixth.
The order remained static throughout the second half of the race with Ryan collecting a solid points paying finish to keep him in the championship fight while recording his highest finish of the year since he triumphed at the season-opener at Long Beach two months ago.
Following the race Ryan commented:
"I had a good car for the race but this is a track with few overtaking opportunities. As a result I was caught at the end sitting in a train of cars unable to pass the slower car in front. Looking at the positives though I have a fast car for tomorrow's event and starting third should allow me to attack early and hopefully secure a decent podium finish."
In what's shaping up to be an incredibly close title fight, the five drivers at the top of the points standings are separated by just 11 points. Dalziel currently sits fifth on 85 points just one point behind his team-mate in fourth.
This weekend's event, the only double-header meeting on the 12-race schedule, concludes tomorrow morning with Round 5 at 10:30am Pacific Standard Time. Live timing and results can be found on: www.toyotaatlantic.com