Dalziel delights in Daytona Prototype debut Mexico City, Mexico (November 06, 2005) -- Ryan Dalziel drove a barnstormer of a race as he made his first career start in the Daytona Prototype class of the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series ...
Dalziel delights in Daytona Prototype debut
Mexico City, Mexico (November 06, 2005) -- Ryan Dalziel drove a barnstormer of a race as he made his first career start in the Daytona Prototype class of the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series yesterday, Saturday 5th November, at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City, Mexico.
Dalziel debuted Pacific Coast Motorsports' #89 Ironclad-backed Pontiac Riley, climbing as high as second in the first half of the 90-lap race before handing over to team-mate Alex Figge who then consolidated a stunning maiden effort by securing sixth place at the checkered flag.
Ryan was back in action with Pacific Coast Motorsports following the California-based team's decision to switch sports car disciplines from the American Le Mans Series, where they campaigned a Corvette C5-R, to the Rolex Sports Car Series, with the Mexico City race marking the final race of the year and an excellent test-bed for the debutants.
The 23-year-old from Lanarkshire was quickly up to speed behind the wheel of his latest racer, setting the second fastest time in Friday's qualifying session before a line infraction robbed him of a front-row start. His second fastest time round the 2.786-mile Mexican track was still good enough for eighth on the grid from a 20-strong field of Daytona Prototypes.
As yesterday's race saw the field charge five-wide to the first turn Ryan held his own and would soon make a charge up the order. Sitting sixth after the first twenty minutes the new series champion, Wayne Taylor, in the #10 Pontiac Riley would soon fall victim to the charging Scotsman.
With the South African deposed Dalziel then dumped Italian Matteo Bobbi down to fifth as he slipped by on the start-finish straight. Next up in Ryan's line of sight was Kenny Wilden in third. Having hounded his rival for several laps, Dalziel's move came as Wilden locked up at the end of the straightaway.
After an hour of racing, Dalziel, the second highest climber in the race, was safely up into a podium position just eighteen seconds shy of race leader Scott Pruett. Ryan was briefly promoted to second as Pruett pitted on lap 42 before he too headed for the pits to hand control of the #89 Ironclad Pontiac Riley over to Alex Figge.
Technical problems with the team's fuel rig slowed the changeover and ultimately cost valuable time and track position but Figge stormed back out and held on to a top five position once the field shuffled back into order heading into the second half of the race.
The Californian racer lost a spot to Butch Leiztinger not long after but he successfully held on to sixth for the remainder of the 250-mile race to cap a memorable debut for Pacific Coast Motorsports in the Rolex Sports Car Series.
Pole-sitters Michael McDowell and Memo Gidley won the series finale in the #19 Finlay Motorsports BMW Riley, their first win of the season.
Looking back on an impressive performance Dalziel commented:
"What a race! The whole team did a great job this weekend and I think we proved to everyone just how competitive we're going to be in this series. We knew our car was fast, we showed that in qualifying but unfortunately we had our front-row time taken away from us. We were unlucky to get bogged down at our pit stop with the fuel rig problem and Alex had a tough job trying to make up for the lost time but he kept us at the front-end of the action.
"Coming into the race we hoped we could score a top ten but to have raced as competitively as we have I think has surprised us all. We wanted to be here to take in the last race of the season to prepare for a run at the Daytona 24 in January. We've raced the car in anger and I think we'll come back at Daytona even stronger. My thanks as always go out to the Figge family and Tyler Tadevic for giving me the opportunity to race for such a great team and thanks to Ironclad for all their support this weekend!"
Full results from yesterday's 14th and final round of the 2005 Rolex Sports Car Series can be found online at: www.grandamerican.com