No rest for Pacific Coast Motorsports with Phoenix up next Ventura, California (May 10, 2006) -- As soon as last weekend's sixth round of the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series concluded Pacific Coast Motorsports' thoughts immediately turned...
No rest for Pacific Coast Motorsports with Phoenix up next
Ventura, California (May 10, 2006) -- As soon as last weekend's sixth round of the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series concluded Pacific Coast Motorsports' thoughts immediately turned to this Saturday's 'The GAINSCO Grand Prix', hosted at the Phoenix International Raceway, 11-13 May.
With the team's #89 Playboy/Vonage/Palms Pontiac Riley picking up podium points in last Saturday's Daytona Prototype qualifying race, a repeat performance this Friday along with a similar result on Saturday night would be welcomed by the Californian 'rookie' outfit. Ryan Dalziel's efforts in the 30-minute qualifying sprint brought the team a much needed dose of championship points and the 24-year-old Scot was on course for a similar haul in last Sunday's 2-hour 45-minute race until a dead starter bogged the #89 down car in the pits.
Alex Figge had successfully capitalized on his third place start position at Laguna Seca and the Hollywood-racer fought it out at the sharp end of the grid throughout his stint, including a couple of lead laps prior to the change over to Dalziel in the pits. Ryan's late-race pit problems eventually led to a 16th place finish at the flag, a heartbreaking end to what had probably been one of the team's strongest outings since debuting with a sixth place finish in the Daytona Prototype class in Mexico City at the end of the 2005 season.
With back-to-back race weekends though the former open-wheel champions have had little time to dwell on the past and the #89 Playboy/Vonage/Palms Pontiac Riley fires back into action tomorrow afternoon with first practice on the 1.51-mile 'roval', part oval, part road course at the Phoenix International Raceway. Saturday's sports car spectacular will take place under the desert lights, the first night race since Round 3 at the Homestead-Miami Speedway back in March.
PCM Team Director Tyler Tadevic remains confident despite the team's recent run of bad luck:
"For sure I'm hoping we can rebound from last weekend's race. Overall it was a solid performance, we had the speed that's for sure and we took a podium finish, at least in terms of points paid from the qualifying race on Saturday when Ryan finished third. Bottom line is we've got to bring it home to the checkered each time out and I feel we're due a good result.
"I can appreciate from the outside it might look like we're not getting the job done and I know we're not perfect, we're still a rookie outfit in this series, but we've simply had a run of unbelievable bad luck. In some cases we've given ourselves a bit of trouble but we've always given Alex and Ryan a car to get back into the fight. We came close to getting the kind of result we know we're capable of last weekend but the battery failed on the starter at the final stop. We've moved on from that and this weekend in Phoenix we're out to finish the deal!"
"I'm looking forward to going to Phoenix. We had a good test there earlier so we're at least aware of what we're heading into! It's a good, tight little track and it's always fun to test yourself at a night race. I had a great run in qualifying at Laguna, we scored full points for third place and while it was a shorter run I believe it showed what we're capable of. We carried that momentum into the race on Sunday but then our bad luck caught up with us just as we thought we might be on for a decent result. Hopefully we can repeat our form at Phoenix but minus any issues, I'll be keeping my fingers crossed!"
"It's been a really frustrating season so far in terms of actual results. Our performances, certainly over the last few races have been very encouraging but something always seems to happen to us just as we think we're finally going to deliver! We were having a blast at Laguna, the car was quick, we ran at the front during my stint and Ryan got the car back up there after the change over. The guys on the team have all worked really hard so I'm hoping Phoenix sees a change of fortune and we're up there fighting at the checkered!"