Night to forget for Pacific Coast Motorsports Ventura, California (March 26, 2006) -- Yesterday evening's 'Grand Prix of Miami' proved to be a disappointing affair for Pacific Coast Motorsports as the ...
Night to forget for Pacific Coast Motorsports
Ventura, California (March 26, 2006) -- Yesterday evening's 'Grand Prix of Miami' proved to be a disappointing affair for Pacific Coast Motorsports as the #89 Playboy/Vonage/Palms Pontiac Riley came home a lap down in 13th place in the Daytona Prototype battle at the Homestead-Miami Speedway.
In a race with no fewer than six full-course cautions, PCM team-mates Alex Figge and Ryan Dalziel gave their all behind the wheel but the 250-mile race was dominated by Porsche power on the 2.3-mile half road course, half oval circuit.
Figge took the green-flag in 12th place as the sun went down and the lights came on at the Miami track. He soon gained a spot but he was denied a run in the top-ten, the 25-year-old American maintaining his track position through to lap 33.
Contact with the #06 Lexus Riley on that lap then led to a handling issue with Figge opting to pit believing the front right tire was going down. Not taking any chances the PCM pit-crew fired into action fueling the car and slapping on a fresh set of Hoosier rubber while Ryan Dalziel jumped into the driver's seat.
As luck would have it, no sooner had Dalziel got back up to speed when the first of the night's numerous full-course cautions arrived. With the rest of the field benefiting from a pit-stop under the yellows, when the field recycled itself and racing resumed on lap 44 Dalziel found himself a lap down. From there it was simply a case of hanging on to see what kind of result the team could recover as the Porsche-powered teams maximized their horsepower advantage on the flat-out oval section of the track.
Dalziel returned to pit-lane for more fuel at the half-way marker, this time under a full-course caution, rejoining in 19th place, remaining a lap down. The 23-year-old Scotsman worked his way back through the order to eventually take the checkered flag in 13th but ultimately it was a night to forget for the team.
Reflecting on the evening PCM Team Director stated:
"That was a tough race and I'm just pleased it's over! It wasn't too bad at the start, Alex didn't really gain any places but importantly he didn't lose any either. He thought a tire was going down following contact with the #06 car so we pitted to be on the safe side but unfortunately we got caught out with the subsequent full-course caution and to be honest, after that our night was just spent playing catch-up.
"We hoped we might be able to take advantage of our fuel strategy and some others misfortunes but if just didn't work out that way. I have to say though that I'm pretty frustrated at the performance advantage the Porsche teams had. Grand American has to see that the Porsche's are way ahead of everyone. I just hope the series chooses to address the blatantly apparent inequity in engine performance!"
Ryan Dalziel, having made his first ever Rolex Sports Car Series start at the Homestead-Miami Speedway last season, commented:
"Not a great night but I think we just have to put this race behind us and get ready to go racing in California in a couple of weeks time. Alex and I have raced at Long Beach before and I won there in 2004 in the Atlantic series so I think we're best looking forward than dwelling on tonight's events."
Figge, a Californian-native, echoed his team-mate's sentiments:
"It's been a bit of a rollercoaster of a weekend but we had nothing to take the fight to the Porsche teams. I was fairly satisfied with my stint all things considered but it was frustrating not being able to crack the top-ten. We'll get out of here and start preparing for Long Beach. I'm pumped we're doing some street racing and it's a home race for both myself, the team and for Playboy so it should be a fun weekend!"
The 'Grand Prix of Miami' was won last night by the pole-sitting duo of Patrick Long and Mike Rockenfeller in the #23 Alex Job Racing/Emory Motorsport Porsche Crawford.
Round 4 of the 2006 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series, the 'Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach', is hosted on the streets of Long Beach, California, 7th-8th April. -pcm-