McNish vows to return after enduring disappointment in Daytona “classic”

In a one off race with Starworks Motorsport, Allan McNish along with Ryan Dalziel, Sebastien Bourdais and Alex Popow finished 6th their Ford Riley.

Scotsman thwarted in attempt to win prestigious annual American 24 hour race in closing stages

Britain’s Allan McNish vowed to contest next year’s corresponding race after enduring disappointment in the 51st running of the Daytona 24 Hours which finished today (Sun 27 Jan).

#2 Starworks with Alex Popow Ford Riley: Sébastien Bourdais, Ryan Dalziel, Allan McNish, Alex Popow
#2 Starworks with Alex Popow Ford Riley: Sébastien Bourdais, Ryan Dalziel, Allan McNish, Alex Popow

Photo by: Covy Moore

Competing in a one-off race for the American Starworks Motorsport team, the Audi Sport “factory” driver along with co-drivers Ryan Dalziel (Scotland), Sébastien Bourdais (France) and Alex Popow (Venezuela), brought their Riley-Ford home in sixth place having frequently led the annual race.

Dumfries-born McNish was in contention for a fourth Daytona podium finish and possibly a maiden victory until two hours from the chequered flag in a thrilling, closely contested race.

“It was a long, frustrating and sometimes cruel race – a typical Daytona 24 Hours in fact!” commented McNish.

“We suffered a couple of punctures and some other issues but was still in the fight. With a little over two hours to run when placed fourth but with a podium definitely within our grasp, our car suffered a sticking accelerator which caused me to go off the track twice, thankfully without hitting anything.

“With that rectified, I then almost immediately encountered a brake issue which cost us 11-laps making repairs in the pits before Ryan brought it home to the flag.

“We lacked the outright pace and straight-line speed of the BMW-powered cars throughout, so we were forced to reduce our disadvantage in the way we set-up our Riley-Ford. But the Starworks Motorsport team did a fantastic job.”

The McNish Riley Daytona-Prototype sportscar had begun America’s only twice-around-the- clock race on Saturday afternoon from seventh place courtesy of Dalziel in the 57-car field.

McNish, contesting the Floridian race for an eighth time, drove for over eight hours during three separate “stints” around the 3.56-mile, 12-turn speedway road course staged in dry and warm weather conditions throughout. The Starworks Riley led on 11 different occasions during the race.

AlLan McNish

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Ryan Dalziel , Allan McNish , Sébastien Bourdais , Alex Popow
Article type Race report
Tags bourdais, dalziel, ford, grandam, mcnish, popow, riley, rolex24, starworks