Starworks Motorsport took the chequered flag in P2 (#2 Alex Popow, Ryan Dalziel) and P10 (#8 Scott Mayer, Brendon Hartley) in the ‘Visual Studio Ultimate Grand Prix of Atlanta’ at Road Atlanta, Braselton, Georgia today.
However, extremely wet conditions on Friday meant that the practice sessions saw practically zero running and resulted in qualifying being cancelled altogether in the afternoon.
The ultimate grid positions for the race on Saturday were determined by team points which meant that the #2 Starworks Motorsport Ford Riley would start on the second row of the grid in P4 with #8 starting from P11.
On a dry and slightly cloudy Georgia race day, Alex Popow held position until the end of his stint when he dropped to P5 just before Ryan Dalziel stepped in to the #2 cock pit at the first scheduled pit stop.
Running in P4 with less than 50 minutes remaining, Dalziel took P3 ahead of the final stop and rapid home stint. After 2.75 hours and 120 laps of the 2.540 mile track, Dalziel took the chequered flag to once again stand on the 2013 Rolex Series podium, this time in second place.
The Starworks #8 car started from P11 on the grid with Scott Mayer behind the DP wheel. After the driver change, Brendon Hartley maintained P12 for the following hour only to be hit with a 20 seconds hold penalty for ‘too many team personnel over the wall’ during his first stop for fuel and tyres.
Brendon then ran in P10 to the final pit stop and despite setting increasingly fast lap times, was unable to close the gap to the pack ahead and improve on his impressive Top 10 finish.
Peter Baron, Team Owner: “Today felt like a win. It was a complete and perfect team effort which made the day so rewarding. Alex drove a fantastic stint, defending the whole time.
Ryan did an unbelievable job on his out laps passing cars on his out laps, and the team nailed in with pit stops and strategy. We did it all perfect today.”
Alex Popow, car #2: “It was a great race where the team did a perfect job in a tough situation with the pit stops and overall strategy. Because of that we gained positions and that took us to the front; so all compliments to the Starworks team. Our result this weekend keeps us in the fight for the championship and I am immensely proud of our team.”
Ryan Dalziel, car #2: “Today really was a great day for the Popow Starworks #2. We went into the race a little anxious with the limited dry running time, but the Starworks crew out done themselves this race. Great effort from our engineers on set up, brilliant strategy from Peter Baron as always and our pit stops were electric.
We need to keep collecting podiums, but I don't want to be runner up! We are here to win and I feel like we are knocking on the door. Alex [Popow] was immensely impressive this weekend and every week he improves. I am really proud to be part of such a great group."
Brendon Hartley, car #8: “It was a difficult day at Road Atlanta. We went a lap down when I jumped in at the first stop, was hard going from there with a small gearbox and power steering issue. Unfortunately there was no safety car to get us back in the game; P10 was the best we could do.
Massive congratulations to the #2 Starworks car who had an amazing run to finish 2nd. A top result is bound to come our way soon; the team is great and the car is fast!”