No let-up in Dalziel's hectic schedule Fresh from a victorious season-opening weekend at Long Beach, California, Toyota Atlantic Championship leader Ryan Dalziel flew north to the Portland International Raceway, Oregon to test his ...
No let-up in Dalziel's hectic schedule
Fresh from a victorious season-opening weekend at Long Beach, California, Toyota Atlantic Championship leader Ryan Dalziel flew north to the Portland International Raceway, Oregon to test his #28 ProWorks Sierra Sierra Enterprises car yesterday in preparation for Rounds 4 and 5 of the series there in June (18-20th).
As the only double-header event on the 12-race Toyota Atlantic calendar, the Portland weekend could be crucial to championship challenges. With this in mind several of the teams in the series flew directly to Oregon following Sunday's opening round in the glamorous surroundings of Long Beach. Dalziel and Sierra Sierra Enterprises dominated events in California with the 'flying Scot' leading home a team 1-2 finish for the Nevada-based sophomore squad.
Portland holds happy memories for Ryan as he enjoyed an equally dominant weekend there last year capturing pole position before going on to score his second win from three races. The 22-year-old's margin of victory over Joey Hand in second was an impressive 14.4 seconds!
Testing at the 1.9-mile permanent road course yesterday Dalziel and the team concentrated on fine-tuning the set-up from last year's triumph despite the changing dry to wet conditions. At the end of the day Ryan and team-mate Andrew Ranger were once again placed at the top of the time sheets, continuing to set the pace as they have done since testing commenced back in March.
Reflecting on his preparations Ryan commented:
"We enjoyed a couple of hours solid running before the rain fell. This isn't unusual for Portland so it was good to be able to test both dry and wet set-up's as we could encounter similar conditions when we return to race in June.
"My car was good straight off the back of the truck from California. We worked on last year's set-up and really there wasn't a lot else to do as we set the pace once more. I think with all the experience gained from last year's campaign we're really in great shape for this season. Long Beach was the perfect result to kick start the year and I know we'll be competitive at every track.
"There are a couple of races to run before we get back to Portland and they both hold good memories for me. I finished second in Monterrey, Mexico in my Toyota Atlantic debut and I won Milwaukee last season, my first win in the series and all the more special as it was from pole and on an oval!"
Ryan leads the Toyota Atlantic Driver Standings with 34 points. Monterrey, Mexico hosts Round 2 of the 2004 Toyota Atlantic Championship on 23rd May.