Pacific Coast Motorsports looks to Laguna for turnaround Ventura, California (May 02, 2006) -- Pacific Coast Motorsports returns to Daytona Prototype action this weekend, 5th-7th May, with the ...
Pacific Coast Motorsports looks to Laguna for turnaround
Ventura, California (May 02, 2006) -- Pacific Coast Motorsports returns to Daytona Prototype action this weekend, 5th-7th May, with the #89 Playboy/Vonage/Palms Pontiac Riley as the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series heads back west to California for Sunday's 'U.S. Sports Car Invitational' at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
The Laguna Seca track holds happy memories for Pacific Coast Motorsports as they clinched the Toyota Atlantic Championship there back in 2004. This time as the team prepares to head back to the Monterey peninsula they do so having had a rollercoaster of a 'rookie' season in the Daytona Prototype category, one which they hope to turn around as they make their second 'home' start of the season following a turbulent ride on the streets of Long Beach last month.
Still chasing their first top-ten finish campaigning the #89 Playboy/Vonage/Palms Pontiac Riley, Ryan Dalziel and Alex Figge have time and again showcased both their own talents and those of the team, only for events in the heat of battle to transpire against them. It was a case of deja-vu at the latest round in Virginia as Figge climbed as high as third in the opening stages only to be kicked back down the order and lapped following back-to-back penalties from series officials. To make matters worse, Dalziel's race lasted less than a lap after the scheduled driver change, the Scottish ace forced into retirement with a loss of power.
While only Ryan had prior track experience in Virginia both drivers head to Laguna this weekend with career starts logged at the 2.238-mile permanent road course. Always a highlight on any racing calendar, not least for the world-famous cork-screw turn, Dalziel's record at Laguna Seca includes a second place podium finish in 2003 while Figge holds back-to-back top-five finishes in 2003-04.
That was then and this is now but Tyler Tadevic, PCM Team Director, believes the team's dogged start to the season only makes them even hungrier to repeat their past successes:
"We believe the hits we take on the chin today will ultimately help us to improve and win more championships in the future. We're a rookie team with a rookie engine program in the Rolex Sports Car Series and that's a tough combination. Our last race was disappointing, we felt we were in the hunt before the penalties and then the mechanical problem. We still have our heads held high, we just need to get a good finish and we can't wait to get on that this weekend.
"Laguna's always been a great track for this team. We all know it really well and again, it's effectively another home town race so we're all chomping at the bit to get out there. We feel like we're due a finish, we've shown the performance of the #89 Playboy/Vonage/Palms Pontiac Riley is there and we can't wait to prove that we can get the job done and build on the kind of results we know we're capable of."
Ryan Dalziel last raced at Laguna in 2004 when ironically enough he was competing against Pacific Coast Motorsports and Jon Fogarty for the Toyota Atlantic title. Fogarty claimed the pole with Dalziel joining the PCM racer on the front-row. The flying Scot saw his title chances vanish with a questionable start line infringement but he recovered to finish sixth and finish the season as runner-up to the PCM challenge. Heading back he commented:
"I absolutely love racing at Laguna Seca. Obviously last time I was there I was racing against Pacific Coast Motorsports but this time round I'm pleased to be returning with them. Everyone knows the circuit really well from our respective open-wheel experiences so I'm hoping that will give us a solid platform to start from in Friday practice. I'm looking forward to more seat time on Sunday given I didn't even get to complete a race lap in Virginia at the last event!"
Alex Figge's record in Laguna is equally strong, the 25-year-old American sharing his team-mate's affection for the Californian circuit:
"It's always been good to me! It's a great place to race and nothing beats the thrill of taking on the cork-screw. With the season we've had we know it's only a matter of time before everything clicks into place and all being well Laguna's going to reward our efforts. There's no doubt we should have had a handful of top-ten finishes by now but it's just not worked out like that. There's no point dwelling on the past, we're new to this level of competition but we won't make excuses, we'll figure it out!!!"
The grid for Sunday's 'U.S. Sports Car Invitational', Round 6 of the 2006 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series, will be formed based on the results from Saturday's Daytona Prototype qualifying race. Sunday's 250-mile race starts at 3pm EST with SPEED broadcasting the race as a tape-delay the following day at 12pm EST.
Timing and scoring can also be found online at: www.grandamerican.com