Watkins Glen II: Ryan Dalziel race report

Dalziel takes eighth at The Glen Orlando, Florida (August 12, 2006) -- Ryan Dalziel steered Pacific Coast Motorsports' ...

Dalziel takes eighth at The Glen

Orlando, Florida (August 12, 2006) -- Ryan Dalziel steered Pacific Coast Motorsports' #89 Playboy/Vonage/Palms Pontiac Riley Daytona Prototype to an eighth place finish in yesterday evening's 'Crown Royal 200 at The Glen', Round 12 of the 2006 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series, but could have been higher had it not been for a questionable penalty call from Grand-Am officials.

The Rolex Sports Car Series' second visit to the track this season was a Daytona Prototype-only affair with the #89 Pontiac Riley lining up 11th from the 26-strong field for last night's 200-mile endurance sprint. Alex Figge, Dalziel's team-mate, took the start only to see his hopes of working his way towards the front of the field continually interrupted by full-course cautions.

The first 15 laps of last night's race boasted no fewer than three caution periods from a total of six over the course of the 82-lap race. PCM took the opportunity to put Ryan in the car during the fourth full-course caution on lap 32, the majority of the field opting for a similar strategy for the shorter than usual event.

Green flag racing resumed on lap 37 and Dalziel set himself on a charge behind the wheel of the pace setting #89 entry. Proving to be the team's most competitive outing in three starts Ryan's hopes of a potential podium finish were to be dashed on lap 52 when he was handed a 'stop-and-go' penalty allegedly for avoidable contact with Michael Valiante's #5 Finlay Motorsports Ford Crawford at Turn 1.

Dalziel's former Toyota Atlantic rival squeezed him attempting an unlikely pass around the outside and the pair touched with the Scot being forced off the traditional racing line. Officials deemed Ryan to be the guilty party and he served his penalty five laps later. Ryan's goal for the remaining 30-minutes of racing was simply to make up for lost time. Buoyed at least by the pace of the #89 Playboy/Vonage/Palms Pontiac Riley he raced his way back into the top-ten to take an eighth place finish for Pacific Coast Motorsports.

"Put simply the official's decision was wrong," stated a furious Dalziel. "The guy on the inside line always has the right of way and besides that Valiante's move was optimistic at best! I'm really disappointed with the call and the penalty as if it hadn't been for that we would likely have finished fourth or potentially even on the podium. We had a fast car here tonight but with the shortened race distance and the late caution periods I couldn't get higher than eighth having lost out serving the penalty."

The 'Crown Royal 200 at The Glen' was won by the #01 Lexus Riley piloted by Scott Pruett and Luis Diaz.

Ryan returns to Rolex Sports Car Series action in two weeks for the penultimate race of the year, Round 13, hosted at the Infineon Raceway, California, 24th -- 26th August.

-credit: ryandalziel.com

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Ryan Dalziel , Scott Pruett , Michael Valiante , Luis Diaz , Alex Figge