Daytona II: Starworks Motorsport race report

FOREST AND DALZIEL FINISHED 2nd IN ROLEX SERIES 100th DP RACE! Mike Forest and Ryan Dalziel co-driving the ...


Mike Forest and Ryan Dalziel co-driving the #8 Starworks Motorsport Corsa Car Care Dinan-BMW Riley machine finished second in the July 3rd running of the Brumos Porsche 250 at Daytona International Speedway that marked the 100th race for the Daytona Prototypes. This is the third podium for Ryan Dalziel and Mike Forest this season in only eight races and their second 2nd place finish after the Lime Rock Park event last May 31st. Both drivers led the race for a total of 13 laps and their efforts came one day after they missed qualifying due to a problem with the rear tire in opening practice. It was Dalziel's third consecutive podium finish with three different teams at Daytona. He finished third in last year's Brumos Porsche 250, co-driving with Bill Lester for Orbit Racing. The #7 Starworks Motorsport Flex-Box Dinan-BMW Riley co-driven by Bill Lester and Nelson Philippe finished 13th in the Brumos Porsche 250.

The event did not start as planned for Starworks Motorsport when bad luck struck in the first session. Ryan Dalziel, driving the #8 car, then Bill Lester, driving the #7 car both had their right rear tires delaminated that resulted in a tire blowout and that caused heavy bodywork damage for both cars and forced car #7 and #8 to miss qualifying due to the tight Daytona schedule. Last Saturday, the Rolex Series was sharing the track with the NASCAR Sprint Cup series so there was only an hour between the end of the first practice session and qualifying and it did not allow enough time for the crew to fix the cars. The Starworks Motorsport crew had to work very hard until the next morning to repair the extensive and expensive damage to get the cars #7 and #8 ready for the final Saturday morning practice. Despite missing the qualifying session, Starworks Motorsport cars #7 and #8 were allowed to start the race in 12th and 13th position.

Mike Forest had an excellent first stint, led 3 laps and stopped while leading the race at the 30 minute mark to hand the car to Ryan Dalziel. After the very efficient pit stop, and with a very competitive race car and brilliant driving, it took only 19 laps for Ryan Dalziel to take the lead of the race. Ryan had a very fast car and remained in command of the race for ten laps until he was blocked by the #90 DP exiting the famous Bus Stop Chicane. The #90 car was trying to ambitiously remain on the lead lap and keep Ryan behind him and braked too late going into the turn which caused the #90 car and Ryan to massively slow, while the #01 car was able to get a clear run with good exit speed and pass Ryan on the following straight. Dalziel tried everything he could to challenge the leading Ganassi car but with no time to set up the car on a dry track, the car was not up to the task.

This fantastic performance from Mike Forest and Ryan Dalziel allows the two Starworks Motorsport drivers to move up one position in the 2010 Rolex Series driver point standings. After this 8th race, Ryan Dalziel is now ranked 2nd, only 13 points behind Pruett and Rojas and Mike Forest is now 6th in the standings, only 2 points behind the 5th place ranked drivers.

Ryan Dalziel was pleased with his second place finish after the race. "I am really happy to have gotten today's finish," Ryan stated after the race. "Starworks Motorsport have had a tough couple of races. Despite the awesome pace we have shown, we have had two bad races. I couldn't be happier to get another podium. This was a great race for points and I leapt back into second place. Unfortunately the #01 Ganassi car won and we have some work to do before New Jersey in a couple of weeks to figure out how to slow them down" announced Dalziel after the event.

With this outstanding result, Mike Forest was also able to score another "Jim Trueman Award" win. "Today was huge for the #8 Corsa Car Care Starworks Motorsport crew," announced Mike Forest after the race. "We were all kind of down after what happened to our cars in the first practice and the last few races but this is a big boost. I can't thank the team enough for their efforts to rebuild the right rear corner after the tires delaminated. We missed most of the practice session and had only a few laps to figure out the best set up before the race. It was a great race, Ryan did a terrific job" added Forest.

Like the #8 car drivers, Bill Lester and Nelson Philippe missed most of the practice sessions on Friday and had only a few laps to figure out their setup for the race on Saturday morning. Bill Lester drove the first stint and handed the car to Nelson Philippe while in seventh position.

[113.jpg] "Our Daytona 250 experience did not go the way we wanted it to go for the #7 Flex-Box car," announced Bill Lester after the event. "Initially, both Starworks cars suffered identical right rear tire failures during the wet first practice. The damage caused by the blowouts was so severe that it ended both of our track time for the day which meant neither car got to qualify. The blowout on the #7 car occurred while I was behind the wheel exiting NASCAR turn 2 at roughly 170mph! Fortunately, I was able to bring the car to a halt without any further drama" continued Lester.

"Unfortunately, we didn't fare much better in the race. I had an uneventful opening stint and was running as high as 7th before handing the car over to Nelson. He had only completed a handful of laps before reporting that he hit some debris in the bus stop. The resulting contact destroyed the front splitter and also damaged the nose of the car and forced us to retire. We later learned from in-car video that he got slightly off line in the bus stop which caused him to hit the curbing which subsequently caused the damage to the front end. The debris he saw was our own bodywork! Needless to say, we're all pretty disappointed and frustrated on the #7 team but with New Jersey in a couple of weeks, we'll rebound. On a positive note, I'd like to congratulate our teammates in the #8 car for a terrific result. Their second place finish is a much needed lift for our organization" concluded Bill Lester.

The next race for the GRAND-AM Rolex Series will be the New Jersey Motorsports Park 250 presented by Crown Royal, set for Sunday, July 19, in Millville, N.J.

-source: starworks motorsport

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Ryan Dalziel , Bill Lester , Nelson Philippe , Mike Forest