2012 Sports Car driver of the year (Speed.com) Ryan Dalziel produced a driving masterclass to help Starworks Motorsport to second place at the Grand-Am Of The Americas in Austin, Texas.
But that only tells part of the story. Starworks team-mate Alex Popow, from Venezuela, had qualified the car in seventh place. He had climbed two places before he was sent spinning at Turn 15. That dropped him to 11thwhen he handed over to Ryan with just over two hours to go.
Ryan, originally from Airdrie in Lanarkshire, Scotland, soon had the #2 car up to 10th and, within 25 laps, was up to second for the Fort Lauderdale-based team.
A yellow flag caution put him down the field again, but he was in third place going into the final lap. He passed Scott Pruett’s Chip Ganassi BMW, then hunted down Alex Gurney and the two crossed the line almost together.
Ryan says: “We will have to invent a new word for ‘charge’. I don’t think I have ever driven so hard in the last four laps of a race. The car was excellent and we came into the race full of confidence. We got involved in that incident at the start, but we got back on track.
“The car was damaged after the hit but it tells you how fast we could have been - to be that good with a damaged car. Alex and the whole Starworks crew did a great job and we are really proud of this result.
“That last yellow didn’t help us. I think, if it hadn’t been for that we could have won it.
“It was an amazing race - I hope that everyone enjoyed it! It was hard. We knew where our strengths and weaknesses were going to be heading into the weekend and went down our own path in terms of strategy.
“We struggled a bit with straight line speed and with one more lap maybe we could have got the win. But we go away with good points and have risen up to third in the Series. Overall, it’s a great result for the #2 car, Team Popow and everyone at Starworks.”