Pacific Coast Motorsports endures Daytona disappointment Ventura, California (June 30, 2006) -- Last night's 'Brumos Porsche 250', hosted at the Daytona International Speedway, failed to deliver the kind of result Pacific Coast...
Pacific Coast Motorsports endures Daytona disappointment
Ventura, California (June 30, 2006) -- Last night's 'Brumos Porsche 250', hosted at the Daytona International Speedway, failed to deliver the kind of result Pacific Coast Motorsports was looking for having previously seen the #89 Playboy/Vonage/Palms Pontiac Riley score three consecutive top-ten finishes by team-mates Alex Figge and Ryan Dalziel, an early race 'off' yesterday dropping them out of contention, finishing the night down in 16th.
The tenth round of the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series was a challenge right from start as it marked the first 'one-day' event on the 2006 calendar with practice, qualifying and the 250-mile race crammed into the day-long schedule. The opening practice session saw the #89 Pontiac Riley set the seventh fastest time but it was followed by a disappointing 13th fastest in the second session.
Qualifying was subsequently cancelled thanks to communication problems between race control and track safety officials with the starting order for the 'Brumos Porsche 250' being set by team standings, Pacific Coast Motorsports lining up 11th on the grid order.
Alex Figge took the start behind the wheel of the #89 Playboy/Vonage/Palms Pontiac Riley as the green flag signaled the start of the 250-mile endurance sprint on Daytona International Speedway's 3.56-mile road course configuration. Disaster was to strike the hopes of the Californian team early in the proceedings as Figge braked deep into the 'Bus Stop' chicane on lap 8 running off track and burying the nose of the car into the ground. The shovel effect ripped the front nose off with Figge heading to pit-lane so the team could survey the damage.
Three laps were lost in the pits as the PCM crew leapt into action to repair the stricken #89 car. Back out on-track, Figge returned on lap 11 but found himself virtually dead last in 24th and three laps down on the leaders. With the race uncharacteristically incident-free, the team didn't even get to benefit from the usual wave-bye's for lapped cars.
Alex pitted on lap 44 to hand over the controls to Ryan Dalziel. While the Scottish racer successfully claimed a lap back on the leaders there was little he could do to dramatically improve his position, despite enjoying what he described as competitive car. Dalziel finished the testing 70-lap race having climbed to 16th in the closing stages but still two laps down on the race winning #76 Krohn Racing Ford Riley piloted by Colin Braun and Jorg Bergmeister.
PCM Team Director Tyler Tadevic:
"Obviously it was a disappointing night for us. It's a shame as we had a good, competitive car and that was reflected in our lap times. Alex's off cost us valuable track time and it's hard to recover from spending so long in the pits no matter how fast your car is. On top of that we had to pit under green and there were no full course cautions to help us out afterwards. It's frustrating but we look forward to returning to action with the #89 Playboy/Vonage/Palms Pontiac Riley at the end of July and recapturing the momentum that we carried heading into Daytona."
"The only positive we can really take away from tonight's result is the speed in the car. We ran with the overall winners in terms of lap times but we didn't get the opportunity to compete with them. Usually we get a couple of full course cautions in these races but tonight, just as we needed them to help us out a little, they failed to appear in what was a pretty clean race. We'll put this behind us and move on!"
"We certainly didn't envisage this kind of result when we pulled up this morning. I ran too deep into braking at the chicane and the car just planted itself in the dirt ripping the front nose off. It hurt to be in the pits for so long, not least as I knew we had a fast car here. It's frustrating to see our run of consistency come to an end but I've got no doubt we'll bounce back next time out."
After June's flat-out schedule July offers the Rolex Sports Car Series competitors the opportunity to re-group with the only on-track commitment coming at the end of the month with the 'Porsche 250' at Barber Motorsports Park, Alabama, 28th-30th July.