Dalziel Powers Pontiac Riley to Phoenix Podium Orlando, Florida (May 14, 2006) -- Scotland's Ryan Dalziel celebrated a second place podium finish in last night's seventh round of the 2006 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series, 'The...
Dalziel Powers Pontiac Riley to Phoenix Podium
Orlando, Florida (May 14, 2006) -- Scotland's Ryan Dalziel celebrated a second place podium finish in last night's seventh round of the 2006 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series, 'The GAINSCO Grand Prix' held at the Phoenix International Raceway. Having come so close to scoring the team's first top-ten finish of the year in the last round at Laguna Seca a week ago, Dalziel finally turned things around for Pacific Coast Motorsports as he overcame motor problems and a 'drive-through' penalty to catapult the #89 Playboy/Vonage/Palms Pontiac Riley into second place at the checkered flag following another gripping 2-hour 45-minute sports car feature.
Friday night's 30-minute qualifying race at the 1.51-mile road course failed to produce a repeat of Dalziel's third place, full points scoring effort from the previous round, the Scot this time finishing the 20-lap sprint just outside the top-ten. Handing over start duties to his PCM team-mate, Alex Figge, Ryan watched from the pits as the 25-year-old American launched the #89 car into the top-ten as Saturday night's race began.
Figge pitted to hand back to Dalziel on lap 33 under the first full-course caution of the night and the Scot took control of one of the fastest cars on track. Incurring a 'drive-through' penalty for passing under caution, Ryan's charge was temporarily halted as he took his punishment but he was quickly back up to speed and slicing his way through the 37-strong field.
An hour into the race and Ryan reeled off the second fastest lap so-far, the 24-year-old climbing back up to eighth place. Despite motor problems, thanks to losing a cylinder, Dalziel's relentless pace saw him challenge at the sharp end of the action and as he ran three-wide sitting fourth with ten laps remaining the #19 Ford Crawford and #12 Pontiac Riley made contact allowing the #89 car up into second with a clear run to the checkered.JJFault-free to the end, Ryan powered home to score Pacific Coast Motorsports first Daytona Prototype podium, just nine seconds adrift of race winners Scott Pruett and Luis Diaz in the #01 Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley.
Commenting after the podium celebrations Ryan remarked:
"The car was running great when Alex handed it over. I thought it was going to be one of those nights again when we lost a cylinder and had the 'drive-through' penalty. There were so many things that went against us during the race but we've been fast out there pretty much all season so this is definitely a finish that the team deserves!"
Ryan returns to Daytona Prototype action, piloting the #89 Playboy/Vonage/Palms Pontiac Riley alongside Alex Figge, in the 'Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen' at the Watkins Glen International Circuit, New York, 2nd-3rd June.