Pacific Coast Motorsports heads to the 'Beach' Ventura, California (April 06, 2006) -- Round 4 of the 2006 Rolex Sports Car Series, the 'Crown Royal Grand American Challenge of Long Beach' scheduled for this weekend, 7th-8th April, ...
Pacific Coast Motorsports heads to the 'Beach'
Ventura, California (April 06, 2006) -- Round 4 of the 2006 Rolex Sports Car Series, the 'Crown Royal Grand American Challenge of Long Beach' scheduled for this weekend, 7th-8th April, presents Pacific Coast Motorsports (PCM) with its first opportunity of the season to compete on 'home' soil with the #89 Playboy/Vonage/Palms Pontiac Riley.
Saturday's Daytona Prototype-only race marks the first-ever street event for the division, with a 26-car grid set to line up at Long Beach, California for the 90-minute charge round the 1.968-mile temporary street course. While the weekend might be a new experience to some, PCM head to Long Beach armed with working street-knowledge and two drivers boasting six race-starts between them at the track.
PCM team-mates Alex Figge and Ryan Dalziel competed at Long Beach for three straight seasons in the Toyota Atlantic Championship, 2002-04, with Dalziel capping his last race there two years ago in fine style with pole position, a flag-to-flag victory and fastest lap of the race. Figge also holds a top-five finish at the track from 2003 racing for PCM, a year before they captured the Toyota Atlantic Championship title.
Both drivers and team will be keen to put on a performance worthy of their past results at Long Beach come Saturday afternoon as they look to live up to the potential demonstrated in the #89 Playboy/Vonage/Palms Pontiac Riley over the first three races of the season. Despite some promising pace the team has yet to record a top-ten finish in its rookie Rolex Sports Car Series campaign, the Porsche-powered teams romping away with the top results last time out in Round 3 at Homestead-Miami.
A change of fortune and a change in the rules has PCM Team Director Tyler Tadevic optimistic heading to Long Beach:
"I'm really excited to be going back to Long Beach this weekend. I think last year was the first time in something like 15 years that I missed the event so needless to say, and not least with our team's experience at the track, I'm pretty happy to be returning. I think it's great that the series was able to present us with the opportunity to race at such a premier event and venue. It's a home race for both the team and our sponsor, Playboy, so naturally I'm hoping we can live up to our potential and get the finish we deserve.
"Experience pays in this situation and we're really limited in terms of our track time this weekend. You've got be quick straight off the back of the trailer, there's not really any time to make adjustments to the car with just one practice session before qualifying. I'm hopeful our previous race experience at Long Beach will give us a slight advantage here. I also have to say that I'm pleased the series has taken steps to address the inequity in engine performance since the last race in Miami. It's great to be with a series that's pro-active in dealing with its teams and listening to them."
Scotland's Ryan Dalziel is similarly pleased to be back in Long Beach following his victory in 2004:
"It's without doubt my favorite track in North America and I was delighted when I saw it included on the Rolex Sports Car Series schedule. I'm confident that Alex and I can do a good job here based on our own experiences and also those of our engineering team -- they've worked the track before so combined we have quite a bit of knowledge to tap into. We just have to stay out of trouble with the race restricted to 90-minutes from our usual 2-hour 45-minute endurance sprints!"
Alex Figge, now based just up the road from Long Beach in Los Angeles, commented:
"I love racing at this track and I think Ryan and I can get the result we've been fighting so hard for this season. We've got a pretty good set-up on the car, we just have to hit the ground running in Friday practice to make sure we get everything working for qualifying. Overtaking's going to be tough here, as it is on any street course, so we want to aim as high as we can to get a good start slot. From there we have to keep it clean, spend virtually no time in the pits, even for driver changeover, and get the result we've been threatening since Daytona in January! "
Qualifying for Round 4, the 'Crown Royal Grand American Challenge of Long Beach', is set for Friday at 3:55pm PST with Saturday's race starting at 4pm PST. SPEED Channel will cover all the action with the race shown as a tape delay starting at 9pm EST on Saturday evening. Live timing and scoring can be found online at: www.grandamerican.com
PCM thanks team partners -- Playboy, Vonage, Palms, General Motors, Ironclad, Uniden and Hasselgren Engineering.