Fourth place finish boosts Dalziel and PCM Lexington, Ohio (May 22, 2005) -- Ryan Dalziel's third American Le Mans Series outing with Pacific Coast Motorsports resulted in a fourth place GT1 class finish today at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Fourth place finish boosts Dalziel and PCM
Lexington, Ohio (May 22, 2005) -- Ryan Dalziel's third American Le Mans Series outing with Pacific Coast Motorsports resulted in a fourth place GT1 class finish today at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Dalziel, partnering once again with former Toyota Atlantic rival Alex Figge, raced the #5 Menards-Yokohama Corvette C5-R to its highest class finish of the year and eighth overall at the 2.25-mile Lexington circuit.
Opting for a hard compound tire in yesterday's qualifying session proved to be the wrong decision as Dalziel qualified a disappointing fifth in the GT1 class and 13th overall. Choosing not to incur a start penalty by switching tires prior to this afternoon's race, PCM instead opted to pit as soon as a suitable opportunity presented itself on track.
With sunny skies above Dalziel started the race and quickly found himself embroiled in the action fending off the advances of the #35 Maserati MC12 piloted by Fabrizio De Simone. The Italian passed Dalziel for fourth in class early on but the Maserati was penalized for contact and forced to serve a stop-go penalty. The 23-year-old Scot was still vulnerable until a full course caution to remove debris on the track presented PCM the window of opportunity they desired to pit the #5 Corvette and change the tires.
When the race resumed Dalziel's competitiveness improved thanks to the four new Yokohama's underneath him. Setting lap times comparable to the Saleen S7R which was sitting third in GT1 behind the factory-backed Corvette C6-R's, Dalziel was able to push his Corvette C5-R as he battled once again with the ever present Maserati MC12. With an hour on the clock Dalziel was sitting fourth in class and tenth overall with 38 laps completed.
The second full course caution of the day fell at the half way stage of the race as Frank Biela's P1 class Champion Audi punted De Simone's GT1 Maserati into the gravel at Turn 11. With Dalziel's track rival beached the Scot darted into the pits from fourth to hand over control of the Menards-Yokohama Corvette to American Alex Figge. The timing of the driver swap under the yellow proved to be fortuitous as damage to Dalziel's left rear tire was discovered after the PCM crew strapped on a new set of Yokohama's for Figge's second half charge.
Figge duly kept out of trouble, skillfully executing passes on slower GT2 cars following the safety car period while maintaining the team's fourth place class position all the way to the checkered flag as rain threatened. Thanks to a couple of late P2 class retirements Figge took the finish eighth overall, recording both the team's best GT1 result and their highest placing from the first three ALMS starts.
Commenting after the race Dalziel said:
"Fourth place is a good result this weekend! The team did a great job and I was really pleased with the performance of the new set of Yokohama's in the race. Obviously it was important to get the new tires on as soon as possible after the race started and thankfully the first full course caution came fairly early on. The racing was pretty good out there today, Alex and I were able to keep the car out of trouble, despite the Maserati driving into the side of me, and as a result we have our best finish to-date."
The factory-supported Corvette C6-R's recorded a second successive GT1 class 1-2 finish while Dyson Racing recorded overall honors and the P1 victory.
With a month off to allow teams to travel to France to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June, next up on the ALMS calendar is Round 4 at Lime Rock Park, Connecticut, 1st-4th July.