Homestead: Ryan, John Dalziel race report

Forgettable night out in Miami for Dalziel brothers Orlando, Florida (March 27, 2006) -- Saturday night's 'Grand Prix of Miami' failed to yield the results that Ryan and John Dalziel had hoped for as they contested the Daytona Prototype and GT...

Forgettable night out in Miami for Dalziel brothers

Orlando, Florida (March 27, 2006) -- Saturday night's 'Grand Prix of Miami' failed to yield the results that Ryan and John Dalziel had hoped for as they contested the Daytona Prototype and GT classes respectively in the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series third round at the Homestead-Miami Speedway, 25th March. Ryan's efforts, paired with Alex Figge in the Pacific Coast Motorsports #89 Playboy/Vonage/Palms Pontiac Riley Daytona Prototype, yielded only a 13th place finish at the end of the 250-mile race while older brother John, racing alongside Robert Bell in the SAMAX #17 Porsche GT3 Cup car, recorded an 8th place finish in the GT class.

In the Daytona Prototype division it was the Porsche-powered teams that ruled the roost on the 2.3-mile half road course, half oval circuit. Ryan's team-mate, Alex Figge, qualified the #89 car 12th on the grid on Friday and started the race as the sun settled over Homestead on Saturday evening. Without the pace to match the leading entries, Figge held 11th for the duration of his stint, the Californian handing over driving duties to Ryan on lap 33.

No sooner had Ryan roared back out the pits when the first of six full-course cautions presented itself and by the time racing resumed 11 laps later, the Scottish charger found himself a lap down on the leaders. Faced with the unlikely task of being able to un-lap himself against the might of the Porsche-powered teams Dalziel's immediate task was simply to go the distance and collect the strongest possible finish available.

He remained a lap down at the checkered flag but had successfully climbed back up the order to 13th place at the end of the 2-hour 45-minute endurance sprint.

Looking back on a luckless night the 23-year-old said:

"It was a tough race! My stint was decent enough but I was barely in the hot seat before I was a lap down due to the caution period and the opportunity everyone else had to pit under it. There was no way I could get the lap back against the speed of the Porsche's but my times were favorable in comparison to everyone else.

"It was a night to forget and I'm simply putting it behind me and looking forward to racing at Long Beach in two weeks time. I love the track, I've won there before and it's a home event for Pacific Coast Motorsports so hopefully we'll have a better weekend in California!"

John Dalziel's night fared little better as he made only his second ever Rolex Sports Car Series GT start. Sharing the SAMAX Porsche with England's Robert Bell, Dalziel watched from the pits as his team-mate took the start of Saturday night's race having qualified the #17 Porsche GT3 Cup car third on the GT grid.

Bell handed over to Dalziel from second in class with 39 laps completed as the field toured under yellows. John raced the car back up to eighth in class from a 19-car GT field, the older Dalziel brother also going a lap down in the process, but the majority of his time in control was disrupted by a series of full-course cautions that littered the flow of the night race. Added to this the set-up of the car wasn't quite to his liking following changes made during Friday's running with Bell.

The team opted to make a driver and tire change in the dying stages with Bell replacing Dalziel for the run to the checkered flag. Unable to improve upon John's eighth place standing the Englishman brought the car home to a solid, if not spectacular top-ten finish.

Reflecting on his turn John commented:

"It was a pretty rough race for me to be honest. The set-up of the car was determined on Friday when Rob qualified it but I didn't really get a chance to try it out until Saturday's warm-up. I found it had little grip and as a result the changes didn't really suit my driving style. We lost a lap with the first driver changeover which didn't help our chances and then the team opted to put Rob back in for the closing laps. It's a frustrating way to end the weekend given I was quick throughout the earlier practice sessions."

- www.ryandalziel.com

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Alex Figge , John Dalziel