Dalziel brothers celebrate Daytona podium Daytona Beach, Florida (July 01, 2005) -- Scottish racing brothers Ryan and John Dalziel celebrated a third place podium finish in last night's 'Brumos Porsche 250', Round 7 of the Grand American Rolex...
Dalziel brothers celebrate Daytona podium
Daytona Beach, Florida (July 01, 2005) -- Scottish racing brothers Ryan and John Dalziel celebrated a third place podium finish in last night's 'Brumos Porsche 250', Round 7 of the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series at Daytona International Raceway.
The Lanarkshire duo paired up as team-mates for the first time since racing together in the Formula Renault UK Championship back in 2000 and this time round they powered the #61 SAMAX Porsche GT3 Cup car to a top-three finish in the ultra-competitive GT division of the Rolex Sports Car Series.
Yesterday's schedule proved to be as frantic as the on-track action with two practice sessions and qualifying keeping the Dalziel brothers busy before the evening hosted the 2-hour 45-minute charge round Daytona's 3.56-mile road course.
Ryan Dalziel proved to be a consistent pace-setter, the 23-year-old just missing out on GT pole by 5/100ths of a second with his lap time of 1m55.972s. Ultimately Dalziel's afternoon qualifying time would count for nothing as he was forced to start the race from the back of the grid due to an unforeseen administrative error following the session.
Under the evening sky and the Daytona floodlights, Dalziel's charge back to the front started as soon as the green flag waived the field off. It didn't take the Scot long to make up track position and he eventually worked his way through to the front-end action and the fight for the lead. Reeling off some impressive lap times Ryan seized the lead and kept his Porsche there all the way to his pit-stop and the driver change with his brother John.
Returning to road course competition for the first time in four years, making his first career sports car start, John Dalziel's race stint was a true baptism of fire with the 26-year-old hitting the ground running having raced ASA stock cars on ovals for the past couple of seasons.
With little practice time in the #61 SAMAX Porsche, John's first task was to adapt to the frantic pace of the Rolex Sports Car Series, learn the Daytona circuit and find a rhythm for his stint to the checkered flag. While the elder Dalziel initially lost position he was soon banging in the lap times and tracked down the GT leaders.
He caught and passed for the lead only to surrender it a lap later, an unfortunate spin dashing hopes of a debut victory. Unable to get back to the front to fight the BMW's for the win, John led the Porsche charge and capped his sports car debut with the third and final podium placing after a busy night behind the wheel.
Pleased with the podium result Ryan commented:
"I'm happy for the team we've come away with a top-three finish although I think we showed we had the pace to win. We had to work for our result but we proved we can fight it out with the best of them as John and I both battled for position throughout the race. Daytona's a mega track and it was pretty intimidating at first but I had a lot of fun out there today and I hope John and I get the opportunity to race together again in the future."
John's rollercoaster introduction to sports car racing left a definite impression:
"I was really impressed with the sheer pace and the quality of the racing out on-track. I had some great battles out there and was impressed at just how close the racing was. I have to thank Peter Baron and the SAMAX crew for giving me the opportunity to return to road racing and for giving me a great car to compete with. I think given the time constraints we had at Daytona everyone did an exceptional job. I thoroughly enjoyed my Rolex Sports Car Series debut and I hope it leads to more seat-time, I had a blast!"
Team owner Peter Baron was happy to take home top Porsche honors at Daytona:
"I think the BMW's had us covered towards the end of the race but I'm happy we had the measure of all the other Porsche runners, the podium was a great way to end the night. Ryan's drive from the back of the grid was unbelievable, it was an awesome performance and he deserved to lead. John did a good job considering it was his first sports car race and as a result I'm hoping we can put together more opportunities to get the Dalziel brothers back in the car."
Ryan returns to American Le Mans Series action this weekend, competing in the Pacific Coast Motorsports #5 Menards-Yokohama C5-R Corvette at the 'New England Grand Prix' at Lime Rock Park, 1st-4th July.