Ryan rockets to Vancouver victory Scottish racer Ryan Dalziel celebrated his third win of the year as he rocketed to a convincing victory in Vancouver in Round 8 of the 2004 Toyota Atlantic Championship today. Dalziel's triumph, his second...
Ryan rockets to Vancouver victory
Scottish racer Ryan Dalziel celebrated his third win of the year as he rocketed to a convincing victory in Vancouver in Round 8 of the 2004 Toyota Atlantic Championship today. Dalziel's triumph, his second win in three races, helped close the gap to series leader Jon Fogarty (212-199) in what's proving to be an engaging title fight.
Points for pole yesterday, the win today and fastest race lap have moved Ryan within 13 points of Fogarty, the American trailing the Scot by six seconds following this morning's 38-lap charge round the 1.781-mile temporary street circuit.
In a weekend where track records have been shattered today proved no different. Ryan's pace in the #28 ProWorks Swift broke the race lap record by nearly a full second, the 22-year-old's best of 1m08.974s was also more remarkable as it was set on his second to last tour of the circuit. Today's event also marked the fastest Toyota Atlantic race to be held on the west coast circuit, Dalziel's average an impressive 144kph.
With a sole full course caution hosted on the opening lap, Ryan successfully controlled both the start and re-start and quickly pulled away from Fogarty and the chasing pack. It didn't take too long for backmarkers to come into play but Dalziel's pace and some sensible driving from all concerned ensured the remainder of the race passed without incident.
Ryan's victory mirrored his two previous triumphs this season in Long Beach and Cleveland. In all three wins Dalziel has dominated from pole position, leading straight through from green to chequered flag. The Orlando resident now has 16 career Toyota Atlantic podium finishes to his name and with four races remaining has the opportunity to beat his wins-per-season record having equaled today his best of three in a season set back in 1999 in his Formula Vauxhall campaign.
Following a champagne soaking and another rendition of 'Flower of Scotland' Ryan reflected on a successful weekend in Vancouver:
"I'm delighted for the whole Sierra Sierra Enterprises team! We've enjoyed a perfect weekend and it's a just reward for everyone following the disappointment in Toronto a couple of weeks ago. The greatest asset this team has is the fantastic morale and we arrived here pumped and ready to prove ourselves once again."
Dalziel continued: "Vancouver was really a make or break weekend from a championship point of view, I can't over estimate just how important scoring a point in qualifying yesterday was and again today for leading laps and posting the fastest lap of the race. It was a long, tough race and to come away just thirteen points behind Jon with four races remaining is great news for those who love a season-long title fight. Hopefully we can take it all the way to Laguna and come out on top when it's all over!"
The final third of the 2004 Toyota Atlantic season kicks off in two weeks time with Round 9 on the legendary 4.048-mile Road America circuit at Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin from 6th-8th August.