Dalziel, Braun - Ford interview 2011-01-12

This Week in Ford Racing
January 12, 2012

Last Sunday Ryan Dalziel, co-driver of the No. 8 Starworks Motorsport Ford Riley showed everyone that his team is one to watch in the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway by unofficially breaking the track record with a lap of 128.194 mph during testing. Dalziel and co-driver Colin Braun talk about last weekend's Roar before the 24 and what they learned from testing.

Ryan Dalziel - No. 8 Starworks Motorsport Ford Riley

YOU BROKE THE RECORD LAST WEEKEND DURING THE DAYTONA TEST DAYS. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT HOW LAST WEEKEND WENT OVERALL? "We definitely rolled off the truck with a good car. For sure Ford power has been great for us. We managed to work closely with Ford Racing and I think we figured out some improvements to the car and I think it shows that we're going to be a contender this year. I'm definitely looking forward to this race."

HOW DO YOU LOOK AT A TESTING FOR AN ENDURANCE RACE LIKE THE 24 HOURS? "It's still important to have a fast car. Over the years the equipment in terms of racing has gotten so strong. Where it used to be pacing yourself for 23 hours, it's now turned into qualifying laps for 24 hours. We feel that our car is going to be reliable. We have full confidence going into Daytona that we have a fast car and combining a fast car with a reliable car, one of the reasons we picked Ford was because of the record that they had in the past year. We're looking forward to it. We think we're as prepared as we can be. We've got a great crew at Starworks and we're looking forward to a reliable fast race."

YOU'RE RACING WITH A FIVE PERSON TEAM COMPARED TO THE USUAL TWO DURING THE REGULAR SEASON. HOW DOES THAT DYNAMIC AFFECT RACING AND ALSO TESTING? "On the weeks leading up to the race we'll all meet at the team shop and work on rotations. You start to prepare a lot of that stuff closer to the event mostly so you don't forget all of the stuff that you have to remember. Two of my teammates I've worked with before. We all know each other personally and we all know what needs to be done to make the transition between drivers as efficient as possible. One thing as a team that we struggled with last year was pit stops and driver changes so we want to bring that across and pick up on every possible thing we can find."

DO YOU ENJOY ENDURANCE RACES? "Yes I love them. I've had a really good record at Daytona over the years. I worked with the same team back in 2007. We're looking to go one step further and get on the top step and have a successful 24 Hour race. We have a lot of experience on this team and we know what it takes to win this race."

Colin Braun - No. 8 Starworks Motorsport Ford Riley

YOU'RE WORKING WITH STARWORKS MOTORSPORT FOR THE UPCOMING 24 HOUR RACE IN DAYTONA. HOW WAS IT TO WORK WITH THEM THIS WEEKEND DOWN AT TESTING? "It was a lot of fun. It was neat to get back into those Daytona Prototype cars. I haven't driven one of those Riley chassis cars in two years. It was really nice to get back into it. We have Bill Riley as our engineer so I don't think there's anybody out there that knows these cars as well as he does. I'm real excited to have Bill onboard and we have a really good driver line up with the season long guys between Ryan Dalziel and Mike Forest, those guys are both really quick. Thomas Potolicchio is going to be real fast I know and Jim Lowe does a really good job with the car. I feel like we have a really good line-up. We have a great engineer and a great crew chief. We're going to be in really good shape. We're probably more of the stealthy team than the team that everyone's going to bet on. I think we'll go out there and turn a lot of heads."

DO YOU LOOK AT THE TEST AS AN INDICATOR FOR THE RACE, OR IS IT THERE TO GET YOU MORE FAMILIAR WITH THE RACE CAR? "I think it's a chance for everyone to work together to understand what everyone needs out of the race car. Certainly it's a chance for me to get comfortable back in these cars. It's amazing every year that I come back how Ford and Roush-Yates have gotten a little more horsepower out of these engines. It definitely takes some getting used to. It's just a chance to learn and work on some things. After the test I had a lot of people text and call me saying that we're really fast and that we're set to win the race and I said we have the speed and that's not going to be an issue. It's only a 24 Hour race so how much can go wrong?"

YOU SAID THIS WAS THE FIRST TIME YOU'VE BEEN IN A RILEY IN A WHILE. WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE FOR A DRIVER BETWEEN THE CHASSIS? "For me I think the Riley is just an easy to use chassis. It's a chassis that everyone is familiar with and it's a very developed chassis. The Lola has only been around for a couple of years and there's still a lot of development work to be done there. The Riley you just jump right in there. There's not a whole lot of set up to be done. It's just a really fast car. For me I spent two years driving the Riley back in 2006 and I just feel really comfortable in those chassis. It was like riding a bike."

-source: ford racing

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Ryan Dalziel , Colin Braun , Jim Lowe , Mike Forest