Dalziel conquers Road America for win number four Ryan Dalziel powered his way to a fourth Toyota Atlantic triumph of the season today as the ...
Dalziel conquers Road America for win number four
Ryan Dalziel powered his way to a fourth Toyota Atlantic triumph of the season today as the #28 ProWorks racer easily converted his course-record pole position time into a convincing flag-to-flag victory at Road America, Elkhart Lake in Round 9 of the 2004 Toyota Atlantic Championship.
Dalziel comfortably controlled this morning's 17-lap race round the challenging 4.048-mile circuit to lead home series rival Jon Fogarty in second and Sierra Sierra Enterprises team-mate Andrew Ranger in third. Today's win, the 22-year-old Scot's third visit to the top step of the podium in four Toyota Atlantic starts, further bolstered his title challenge with the deficit to Fogarty now slashed to just six points (239-233) with three races remaining.
Ryan's week has turned from drama to delight as the Orlando-based Scot and the whole Sierra Sierra Enterprises team bounced back from a major accident in mid-week testing to race into victory lane on Sunday. With brake failure launching Ryan into the tire barriers at 'Canada Corner' during Wednesday's test session the team was forced to switch efforts to the back-up car to get Ryan into qualifying on Friday.
Testament to both driver and team Ryan shattered the qualifying lap record twice to claim pole position and further maintained his stunning form to control today's race from start to finish. Dalziel demonstrated yet again his remarkable ability to keep cool under pressure as two full course cautions ensured he would have to defend his lead from Fogarty at the re-starts. Ryan skillfully executed both starts and went on to claim the chequered flag at the head of the pack, his sixth career Toyota Atlantic victory to-date and his second successive win following Vancouver a fortnight ago.
Following his latest triumph Dalziel reflected: "This is a great win for the team. Everyone worked really hard following the incident earlier in the week and this is just the best way to reward them. The win today really boils down to being given a great car to drive. We've shown our back-up car is as fast as our primary car and the result has allowed me to really close in on the championship. I said it would go down to the wire this year and I'm delighted our back-to-back victories are keeping us well and truly in the fight."
The schedule leaves little time for celebration with the series heading west to Colorado next weekend and the Grand Prix of Denver, Round 10 of the 2004 Toyota Atlantic Championship, 13th-15th August.