Dalziel and PCM pace Lime Rock Park Lakeville, Connecticut (July 04, 2005) Ryan Dalziel helped steer Pacific Coast Motorsports to their highest overall finish in their rookie American Le Mans Series season today at the New England Grand Prix, a...
Dalziel and PCM pace Lime Rock Park
Lakeville, Connecticut (July 04, 2005) Ryan Dalziel helped steer Pacific Coast Motorsports to their highest overall finish in their rookie American Le Mans Series season today at the New England Grand Prix, a 2-hour 45-minute endurance sprint at Lime Rock Park. Dalziel, together with team-mate Alex Figge, took the privately entered #5 Menards-Yokohama Corvette C5-R to seventh overall while recording a fifth place GT1 finish.
Figge started the race before a sizeable Lime Rock audience, the American enjoying a double driving stint on Independence Day, while everyone basked in the accompanying sunshine. Holding the team's fourth place qualifying position the American racer quickly settled into a rhythm as the field streamed out over the narrow, undulating 1.54-mile Lakeville circuit. A full course caution, the first of four on the day, soon slowed the field to extract the stricken GT1 Dodge Viper after just 15 minutes of racing.
Approaching the half hour mark the track returned to green and Alex continued to charge, pushing the veteran C5-R hard into the first turn, locking up his Yokohama's at Big Bend but holding it together to keep ahead of the #63 ACEMCO Motorsports Saleen S7-R. It wasn't long before the two cars fought for position with Borcheller barging past his countryman for fourth in GT1. Shortly after PCM called Figge to the pits to check over the car and make the first driver change of the day.
A super-slick new pit routine by PCM saw Ryan take the wheel and the 23-year-old Scot was quickly on track with four new tires and a full tank of gas. Fifteen minutes into his stint a heavy off by Ron Fellows in the #3 Corvette Racing C6-R brought out the yellows once again. Fellows recovered and raced back to the pits and it didn't take long to get the factory-backed car back in the GT1 fight, this time with Johnny O'Connell behind the wheel.
Dalziel kept the C5-R in the top ten running order throughout his stint, posting lap times comparable with the Saleen S7-R and Maserati MC12 ahead in second and third respectively. O'Connell's charge eventually saw him sprint back to third in class with a little over an hour remaining while Ryan kept Johnny Mowlem in the S7-R honest, the Orlando-resident just five seconds off the back of the Englishman in fourth.
As the race headed into the final hour two additional full course cautions played into PCM's rivals pit strategies. The third caution period lasted ten minutes but almost as quickly as the field charged to the green flag another caution was signaled and as a result the lengthy delay allowed the likes of the Saleen S7-R to run all the way to the flag without refueling. Figge resumed driving duties under the yellow and the California-based racer headed back on track to await the restart.
With almost 30 minutes passing under the fourth and final full course caution, to allow a clean-up operation from leaked gearbox oil, the sprint to the checkered resumed with 15 minutes to go. Alex took the flag fifth in GT1 and seventh overall a personal best for PCM in only their fourth ALMS start. The GT1 race was won by the #4 Corvette Racing C6-R.
Following the race Ryan commented:
"Today was the closest we've been all season to some of the other GT1 runners and I think we were unlucky to lose out the way we did with the caution periods playing into our rivals fuel strategies. It was definitely a positive weekend with our pace increasing and more to come for the fifth round in a couple of weeks."