Mexico City: Pacific Coast Motorsports race report

Mexican debut delivers PCM promise Mexico City, Mexico (November 05, 2005) - Pacific Coast Motorsports ("PCM") made a stunning debut in the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series today as team-mates Ryan Dalziel and Alex Figge powered the ...

Mexican debut delivers PCM promise

Mexico City, Mexico (November 05, 2005) - Pacific Coast Motorsports ("PCM") made a stunning debut in the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series today as team-mates Ryan Dalziel and Alex Figge powered the #89 Ironclad-backed Pontiac Riley Daytona Prototype to a sixth place finish at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City, Mexico.

The Ventura-based squad's performance at the 2.786-mile circuit was made all the more remarkable given they took possession of their Pontiac Riley just two weeks earlier. Ryan Dalziel climbed as high as second in the first half of the 90-lap race before Alex Figge consolidated a well-earned sixth place through to the checkered flag.

PCM's trip south of the border quickly proved the new boy's weren't there simply to make up the numbers. Dalziel and Figge reveled in their return to competitive sports car action and had it not been for a line infraction, Dalziel's fastest time in yesterday's qualifying session would have secured a front-row start for the former Toyota Atlantic Champion's.

Despite losing his quickest lap time, Dalziel's next best captured a still credible eighth place on the grid for today's 250-mile sprint. The 23-year-old took the start this afternoon as the 20-strong Daytona Prototype field charged five-wide to the first turn. Twenty minutes in and Ryan found himself in sixth, hot on the heels of the new champion, Wayne Taylor, in the #10 Pontiac Riley.

A superb move saw Dalziel pass the South African entering the baseball complex but the PCM racer wasn't done. The flying Scotsman immediately lined up the fourth place car of Matteo Bobbi as they turned onto the start-finish straight. The Italian was helpless to defend his position from the rampant #89 Ironclad Pontiac Riley and Ryan quickly made fourth his own.

A handful of laps later and it was Kenny Wilden's turn to feel the heat from Ryan, the veteran racer demoted to fourth at the end of the straightaway. Dalziel, in addition to being the second highest climber in the race, ultimately found himself in a podium position just eighteen seconds shy of race leader Scott Pruett after only an hour of racing.

Pruett pitted with 42 laps completed briefly promoting Ryan to second before he too headed for the pits to hand control of the car over to Alex Figge.

An issue with the fuel rig cost the team valuable time and track position at the changeover but Figge stormed back out and once the field shuffled back into position the Californian rounded out the top five runners.

Figge quickly gave chase to ex-F1 pilot Stefan Johansson in fourth but five laps later found himself in the grip of a charging Butch Leiztinger in sixth. The American's duked it out on track but Leiztinger had the faster car and passed in the #4 Pontiac Crawford with 45 minutes remaining.

Consolidation was the name of the game for the remainder of the race and Alex showcased the competitiveness of PCM's #89 Ironclad entry by holding sixth to the checkered flag - a stunning result for the whole crew having had just four days of testing heading into the event.

Pole-sitters Michael McDowell and Memo Gidley won the series finale in the #19 Finlay Motorsports BMW Riley, their first win of the season.

Tyler Tadevic - PCM Team Director:

"What a great job by everyone to finish sixth on our debut. I couldn't be happier with the way we performed this weekend. Ryan and Alex were awesome in the car. It was good enough for a front-row time yesterday in qualifying but it wasn't to be. The crew worked all night to make sure we would be up there today and we delivered, we performed at the top level.

"I'm proud to be here and I really have to thank all the Grand American officials for their help over the past few weeks. In addition I'd like to thank Ironclad, Pontiac and Hasselgren Engineering for their support in getting our program together. We can't wait to get to Daytona in January and after today's result we're hopeful of a strong performance there."

Alex Figge (United States) - PCM Driver:

"I had a good time out there today. Ryan really capitalized in the early stages but it was hard to get back the time that we lost in the pits. The crew were simply phenomenal today, great job! I think we gave the competition a real heads-up!"

Ryan Dalziel (Scotland) - PCM Driver:

"It was a tremendous effort by everyone. It was frustrating to drop back in the pits, Alex had a tough job but we're stoked to finish sixth. We were aiming for a top ten but I think our overall performance exceeded our expectations. We know the car's fast and hopefully we'll come back at Daytona even stronger!"

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Ryan Dalziel , Stefan Johansson , Memo Gidley , Scott Pruett , Wayne Taylor , Michael McDowell , Matteo Bobbi , Alex Figge