Pacific Coast Motorsports takes top six at Mid-Ohio Ventura, California (June 25, 2006) -- Pacific Coast Motorsports claimed their third straight top-ten finish in the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series last night, Saturday 24th June, as the...
Pacific Coast Motorsports takes top six at Mid-Ohio
Ventura, California (June 25, 2006) -- Pacific Coast Motorsports claimed their third straight top-ten finish in the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series last night, Saturday 24th June, as the #89 Playboy/Vonage/Palms Pontiac Riley came home sixth at the end of the 'EMCO Gears Classic', hosted at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Yesterday's result, with team-mates Alex Figge and Ryan Dalziel behind the wheel of the #89 Pontiac Riley Daytona Prototype, follows a second place podium finish in Phoenix last month and a tenth place score at Watkins Glen earlier this month.
The weekend started with mixed results in practice as the team struggled with the set-up of the car and the changeable track conditions. Quickest in Friday's first practice session, the team dropped down the order to head into qualifying 19th fastest. Despite fighting a loose car, Alex wrestled it to a 12th place grid slot while the chase for a competitive set-up continued.
A balance was found between yesterday's final practice session and the start of the 2-hour 45-minute race around the 2.258-mile Mid Ohio Sports Car Course. A solid start by Figge allowed him to crack the top-ten early on before making an early pit-stop on lap 12 as the first of six full-course cautions presented itself. Problems in the pit meant Alex had to return on the next lap but green flag racing was still five laps away so the time spent in the pits was minimized.
A trouble free run for the rest of Alex's stint saw him hand over driving duties to Ryan Dalziel with just over an hour off the clock on lap 41 as the field once again toured under a caution. Racing resumed on lap 46 only to be halted once more just two laps later with a car parked on Turn 2 of the sweeping Ohio road course.
With an hour of racing remaining Dalziel was comfortably in the top-eight with a mere 1.4 seconds separating the Scotsman in the #89 Playboy/Vonage/Palms Pontiac Riley in seventh place and the third placed #10 Pontiac Riley. As the event reached its conclusion Ryan picked off another spot to move up into sixth to score Pacific Coast Motorsports second highest finish of the year and their third consecutive top-ten race result.
The #12 Fernandez Racing Pontiac Riley, driven by Adrian Fernandez and Mario Haberfeld, won the race, the Mexican-Brazilian partnership teaming together for their first victory in the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype class.
PCM Team Director Tyler Tadevic:
"We got behind on set-up early on in the weekend; we headed down the wrong path made worse by the amount of wet track time. When things dried out we were behind the competition in terms of having a competitive car for the likes of qualifying. We then made some pretty significant changes to the car between warm-up and the race and we ended up with a much better car.
"Alex drove well for his stint and Ryan brought the car home for our third straight top-ten. We've now moved up into the top-ten in the points for the first time this season and we're looking forward to heading to Daytona for Thursday's race and continuing our current run."
"It was an excellent race for us considering where we were in terms of set-up earlier in the weekend. We made some major gains between the pre-race warm-up and then the race itself. It paid off and we enjoyed a more competitive car throughout. Our consistency is improving all the time which is encouraging as we head into the backstretch of the championship."
"We didn't qualify as well as we'd have liked but the car was pretty difficult to drive. Thankfully we got things together for the race and I was able to make up a few places as things progressed. I enjoyed my stint in the car, it was great to be back racing at Mid-Ohio, it's a fun track to race at! We came away with another clutch of points and our second best finish of the season so considering where we were at the start of the weekend things turned out well."