Tenth at The Glen for Pacific Coast Motorsports Ventura, California (June 05, 2006) -- Saturday's 'Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen', 3rd June, ended with Pacific Coast Motorsports capturing its second straight top-ten finish in the Grand ...
Tenth at The Glen for Pacific Coast Motorsports
Ventura, California (June 05, 2006) -- Saturday's 'Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen', 3rd June, ended with Pacific Coast Motorsports capturing its second straight top-ten finish in the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series with Alex Figge and Ryan Dalziel steering the #89 Playboy/Vonage/Palms Pontiac Riley to hard-earned tenth place at the checkered.
Following the team's podium debut in Phoenix last month, where Figge and Dalziel captured the runner-up spot in the 'GAINSCO Grand Prix, the California-based crew headed east to Watkins Glen International Circuit for Saturday's six hour spectacular at the famed 3.4-mile New York track.
While the #89 Playboy/Vonage/Palms Pontiac Riley carried the momentum from Phoenix into practice at Watkins Glen on Friday, the team's hopes of a strong starting slot for Saturday were sidelined after qualifying was cancelled and the grid determined by championship standings, Ryan Dalziel lining up 12th as a result. Having set the second fastest time at the end of Friday's practice sessions, Dalziel and Figge were left to rue what might have been had qualifying taken place.
With the weather always set to be a factor in Saturday's 'Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen' the key to the race was survival. Dalziel took control for the start and enjoyed a solid first stint moving through the field, taking in two full-course caution periods, before handing over the #89 car to Alex Figge on lap 38. Following another six lap safety period Figge wasted little time in capitalizing on his position, climbing to third by lap 45.
10 laps later and the American sat second before a quick pit-stop for fuel and tires. Figge gained the lead of the race on lap 64 under another full-course caution and remained out front for a short spell before eventually handing back the reigns of the #89 entry to team-mate Dalziel three and half hours into the race.
Ryan's second and final stint saw the Scotsman having to contend with the treacherous track surface towards the end of his run. The mixed conditions saw some competitors opt for wet tires while others, including Dalziel, stayed out on slicks -- ultimately the wrong choice. While on course for a potential top-seven finish, a jump-start by Ryan earned a drive-through penalty, dropping the Pacific Coast Motorsports challenger down a lap on the leaders. Despite the weather and the late-race penalty Ryan brought the #89 Playboy/Vonage/Palms Pontiac Riley home in tenth overall -- the team's second straight top-ten run in Daytona Prototypes.
The race was won by Krohn Racing's #76 Ford Riley driven by Jorg Bergmeister and Boris Said -- the American racer's second straight Rolex Sports Car Series podium following his third place run in Pacific Coast Motorsports #98 Pontiac GTO.R in the GT class in Phoenix.
PCM Team Director Tyler Tadevic:
"I'm disappointed but not upset at the outcome of our race at Watkins Glen. It was a good weekend in terms of overall team performance, the crew was flawless and I have to give kudos to Alex and Ryan for doing an awesome job in tricky conditions. Our pit stops were phenomenal; I think we gained position each time we fuelled up. Ultimately we picked the wrong tires to stay out on and that's what cost us a better finish. We copped a drive-through penalty towards the end which was deserved, although we didn't necessarily think so at the time, otherwise we were on for a seventh place finish. We'll continue with our efforts to improve and as always, we can't wait to get to the next round to do it all again."
"Needless to say we were hoping to come away from Watkins with a stronger finish, not least due to our pace in practice, but with the grid order settled on the championship standings we were starting off on the back foot a little. Alex took the car to the front mid-race but unfortunately we couldn't sustain it! We messed up our tire call towards the end which ended up dropping us back but given we hadn't scored a top-ten finish until Phoenix last time out, to come away with another is encouraging!"
"I don't think our finish at the flag reflects the pace we had at Watkins but we gambled a little on our tire choice and that ended up hurting us as the track was really too wet to be competitive on slick tires. Looking at the positives we were fast in practice and led laps again. It's also our second top-ten finish in a row so we can take some comfort from that and the points gained but we'll look for a stronger result next time out."
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course plays host to the next round of the 2006 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series, the 'EMCO Gears Classic, 23-25 June.