Pacific Coast Motorsports celebrates first Daytona Prototype podium Ventura, California (May 14, 2006) -- Ryan Dalziel and Alex Figge delivered Pacific Coast Motorsports' first ever Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series podium finish last ...
Pacific Coast Motorsports celebrates first Daytona Prototype podium
Ventura, California (May 14, 2006) -- Ryan Dalziel and Alex Figge delivered Pacific Coast Motorsports' first ever Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series podium finish last night with the Scottish-American duo celebrating second place driving the #89 Playboy/Vonage/Palms Pontiac Riley in last night's seventh round, 'The GAINSCO Grand Prix' at the Phoenix International Raceway.
The former open-wheel championship winning team, without a top-ten finish throughout the first six rounds of the series, scored an emphatic result in Phoenix, coupled with their GT podium finish at the same race, and one they felt was long overdue given the pace so often demonstrated by the #89 Pontiac Riley Daytona Prototype in the hands of Figge and Dalziel.
The weekend started well for the Californian outfit with both drivers amongst the pace setters in practice although the 20-lap qualifying race on Friday evening didn't quite go according to plan. Having finished third in the previous week's qualifying race at Laguna Seca, this time round under the lights at Phoenix the #89 car recorded an 11th place finish, Alex Figge then charged with taking the start in last night's 2-hour 45-minute race.
The 25-year-old American leapt into the top-ten pack almost immediately, battling traffic throughout his stint on the 1.51-mile Phoenix track but most importantly keeping the #89 car out of trouble. The first full-course caution of the evening on lap 33 presented an ideal opportunity for the mandatory driver change and Figge headed to the pits to hand over to his team-mate.
Racing resumed on lap 38 but just two laps later Dalziel was forced to serve a 'drive-through' penalty for passing under caution. The Orlando-resident took it in his stride, still happy with the pace of the Pontiac Riley. With the first hour off the clock he was back up to eighth place and at that point he banged in a hot lap of 58.906s, the second quickest of the race at that stage.
By lap 90 Ryan was concerned about a lost cylinder but his performance remained unaffected as he climbed to fifth then fourth as the race headed to the 100-lap marker. With the final 30-minutes of the race unfolding the #89 car had dropped back to sixth place but Dalziel kept it firmly in the fight, subsequently leaping up to second place and a podium position with just ten minutes remaining following a late-race clash involving the #19 Ford Crawford and the pole-winning #12 Pontiac Riley.
Ryan seized the opportunity and held on to take second place in the #89 Playboy/Vonage/Palms Pontiac Riley, the Scot just nine seconds back at the checkered from the race-winning #01 Lexus Riley piloted by Scott Pruett and Luis Diaz.
PCM Team Director Tyler Tadevic:
"I'm both stoked and relieved with our result in Phoenix! I really feel like we've got a monkey off our back now having threatened a performance like this all season long. I'm also thrilled that we're the first Playboy Racing car to make the Daytona Prototype podium. Both drivers did an awesome job, not least Ryan as he had to contend with the motor problems. Overall it's a great result for us and hopefully it's the first of many more now that we've finally delivered on our potential."
"The car was running great when Alex handed it over. I thought it was going to be one of those nights again when we lost a cylinder and had the 'drive-through' penalty. There were so many things that went against us during the race but we've been fast out there pretty much all season so this is definitely a finish that the team deserves!"
"At the start it was pretty slippery and we were all bunched up quite a bit. I made some mistakes in traffic but I also made some good moves so I thought I handed the car over to Ryan in respectable position. He then did a great job finishing it off. We've had some speed this year in the car but on a couple of occasions it just hasn't panned out for whatever reason. Tonight it did and it was a fantastic effort by everyone concerned!"
Alex Figge and Ryan Dalziel return to action in the #89 Playboy/Vonage/Palms Pontiac Riley in the 'Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen', at the historic Watkins Glen International Circuit, New York, 2nd-3rd June.