Portland Grand Prix caps flat-out July Oxnard, California (July 26, 2005) - Portland International Raceway plays host to the sixth round of the 2005 American Le Mans Series ("ALMS") this Saturday, 30th July, as the ...
Portland Grand Prix caps flat-out July
Oxnard, California (July 26, 2005) - Portland International Raceway plays host to the sixth round of the 2005 American Le Mans Series ("ALMS") this Saturday, 30th July, as the 'Portland Grand Prix' wraps up the busiest month on the ALMS schedule.
Pacific Coast Motorsports ("PCM") have unfinished business in the GT1 division following their first retirement in five rookie starts last time out at the Infineon Raceway, California. Having posted four successive top- ten overall finishes, the #5 Menards-Yokohama Corvette C5-R was unceremoniously dumped out of the fifth round and into the barriers having clashed with one of the leading Audi R8 prototypes in the closing stages.
While disappointed to record their first DNF of the season, the PCM crew took heart from the performance gains extracted from the veteran C5-R and the skills and abilities of team-mates Ryan Dalziel and Alex Figge to fire themselves into the GT1 fight and mix wheel-to-wheel with the likes of the all new Maserati MC12.
The Scottish-American racing duo will team once again for Saturday's 2-hour 45-minute endurance sprint on the 12-turn, 1.94-mile Portland International Raceway. The circuit holds no secrets for Dalziel and Figge with both drivers notching Toyota Atlantic Championship starts at the Oregon track. The view may be different behind the wheel of the Corvette C5-R but their determination to succeed remains the same and it's a sentiment echoed by the whole team.
"I'm looking forward to this one," said PCM Team Director Tyler Tadevic. "I definitely feel we have unfinished business in our class following our retirement at Sonoma. While it was frustrating to DNF in our first home race we stayed on at the Infineon Raceway last week to help Yokohama with their latest ADVAN launch. The team enjoyed being part of that and we're really proud of our association with the company."
Looking to the race he continued, "I'm hoping if we get cooler weather at the weekend then it could help our chances and allow us to really get the most from our Yokohama's. I'm not even bothered if it rains as I know both our guys run well in the wet. Oregon's my home state and I know there's a big family presence heading to the track on Saturday. A little home-town luck would be appreciated and hopefully we can grab our first GT1 podium."
Portland holds happy memories for Ryan Dalziel, the 23-year-old Scot having celebrated from the top step of the podium previously.
"I won my second Toyota Atlantic race at Portland in 2003 and finished on the podium again there last season," Dalziel commented. "Portland's a great place to go racing, the track's pretty interesting and the area's stunning. I'm hoping we can continue to make gains with the car and bounce back from the disappointment of being forced out of the last round. We had a car good enough to beat the Maserati at Sonoma. If the temperatures are a little cooler this weekend it will suit the C5-R more and all being well we might be able to challenge for our first podium finish!"
California-native Alex Figge is equally familiar with the Portland venue and looks forward to his return.
"Ryan and I are used to competing against each other at Portland but I can't wait to get back out there this weekend and work together to reinstate our GT1 finishing record," stated Figge. "I was pretty bummed to be taken out at Sonoma, not least as it was a home race for me and we were really building on the pace we'd demonstrated at Lime Rock Park at the start of July. I've enjoyed racing at Portland in the past and hopefully this weekend can add to those memories!"
Saturday's race is scheduled to get underway at 5pm Pacific Time with live television coverage provided by SPEED from 8pm-11pm Eastern Time.
Pacific Coast Motorsports 2005 ALMS campaign is supported by valued team partners - Menards, Yokohama and Ironclad.
Further information: www.americanlemans.com / www.portlandraceway.com