Laguna Seca: SAMAX Motorsport race report

SAMAX Motorsport Breaks Through As Zogaib and Dalziel take victory at Laguna Seca Second consecutive podium finish for SAMAX Motorsport in Rolex competition Monterey, CA --(17 May, 2008)--Henri Zogaib and Ryan Dalziel delivered the best...

SAMAX Motorsport Breaks Through As Zogaib and Dalziel take victory at Laguna Seca

Second consecutive podium finish for SAMAX Motorsport in Rolex competition

Monterey, CA --(17 May, 2008)--Henri Zogaib and Ryan Dalziel delivered the best birthday present possible for SAMAX Motorsport team owner Peter Baron as the two combined for a convincing race win with the No. 2 Dinan BMW-Riley in the Rumbum.com 250 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on Saturday. After racing back to the front from a lap down from the leaders, Dalziel led the final 23 laps to take the win.

The win is the first Rolex Sports Car Series victory for SAMAX Motorsport, and also marks the first Rolex Series Victory Circle visit for Zogaib and Dalziel. The break through victory was all the more remarkable given that Zogaib had never seen the track before the weekend started.

Zogaib started the race from deep in the field, and immediately began to set some of his fastest times of the weekend, relishing every lap on the legendary 2.2-mile natural terrain circuit. Using the same playbook that saw them take a strong second-place finish at Virginia International Raceway in April, Zogaib turned the Dinan-BMW over to Dalziel after his opening stint in the two hour and forty-five minute event.

An unfortunately timed yellow flag meant that Dalziel soon found himself a lap down from the leaders. But fast pit stops, shrewd strategy, and remarkable pace all added up to a big victory as Dalziel crossed the line 1.504-seconds ahead of the field.

The accomplishment was roundly lauded by the paddock, recognizing not only Dalziel's reversal of bad luck at the track, but also too the rapid progression made by Zogaib from interested observer to full-time participant in high-level road racing.

"It is hard for me to describe what this win means to me," said Zogaib. "This comes after years of hard work for me from when I first started in this sport racing in Skip Barber and beginning to dream of a day just like this. We struggled earlier this year, but we restructured the entire team and made the investment in a new powerplant and committed to having all the right resources to make sure we could win races. We showed we were strong at VIR, so this is just a fantastic feeling to go one better and take the victory today.

"I never set foot on this track until yesterday," said Zogaib, still drenched in champagne as he received the congratulations from everyone in the Rolex paddock. "We missed the whole first session due to a fuel cell replacement. So I was under a lot of pressure to learn this track and find some speed. Ryan was pure magic. I'm very proud of him. There's a lot more to come from SAMAX. I'm a happy man."

"It feels fantastic to break through the barrier for SAMAX and get this victory," said Dalziel. "I lost the Atlantic championship here in 2004, and since then I've had an up and down battle here. I told Peter Baron that I would get him a win, and he stuck with me and I'm happy to be able to get this win with Henri for Peter. The Dinan BMW was fantastic and team had phenomenal pit stops and strategy as usual, and even though I wasn't happy with my last restart, there was no way I was going to let this win get away! I was going to end up in the tires or end up in victory lane. This is very emotional for us, a huge day!"

Team spirits were naturally high in the SAMAX pits after the race, as team owner Baron saw his organization take the top prize after scoring several runner-up results in Rolex competition.

"I am really happy for Henri because he stuck with us after we had a tough run at Daytona, and he really pushed us to find the most competitive package we could," said Peter Baron. "He saw the potential in this team, and gave us the opportunity to be in a position to take a win like this. Henri did a good job his first time here at this track and the Dinan-BMW really helped us move forward along with our strategy and pit stops. We knew a win would come this year, but it was just a matter of time and I'm really happy it came together on my birthday!"

-credit: www.samaxmotorsport.com

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Ryan Dalziel , Peter Baron , Skip Barber , Henri Zogaib