Rayan Dalziel media
THE PLOT: On-form Ryan Dalziel aims to make a point in Detroit this weekend – by staying top of the charts in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series.
Ryan – from Windermere in Florida – is delighted to be top of the pile but issued an ominous warning to his rivals when he admitted: “We have yet to get to the tracks that suit the #8 Starworks Motorsport Ford Riley!”
Yet the Fort Lauderdale-based team still heads into Detroit four points clear in the championship.
And, after surviving an altercation with title rival Max Angelelli last time out, Ryan is determined to play the long game by concentrating on the title race more than the two-hour showdown in Detroit.
Ryan – who is originally from Lanarkshire in Scotland – hasn’t finished lower than sixth in races across three competitions in 2012. He has had podiums in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series, the FIA World Endurance Series and the American Le Mans Series.
In the Grand-Am, he and Venezuelan team-mate Enzo Potolicchio took second place in the Daytona 24, but topped the tables after a fourth place at Barber.
A disappointing sixth in the rain at Homestead in Miami was followed by a battling second place at the Global Barter 250 in New Jersey.
Ryan reckons that consistency and ability to focus on the big picture has paid off big-time already so they won’t be changing tactics for Detroit.
THE QUOTES: “We are looking at the Grand-Am as a championship and not just going from race to race. We could get frustrated at things that have happened, but we go into Detroit four points ahead. So, the way we are doing things is working. We will continue to focus on that.
“Detroit is like Barber and New Jersey, it will not suit us. The mind-set we had at New Jersey was to collect points and, if we have to gamble on strategy, then we will do that. We know the Corvettes will be stronger than us because the rules have not changed. Detroit is even tighter than New Jersey so we will just keep our heads down.
“We are looking at the big picture, and if the big picture says solid points work then that is what we will do.
“It is still early in the season so we will not go gung-ho. It would seem that the officials are allowing slightly more contact this year, but there has been an inconsistency so we are not risking that. We are also aware that there is a long way to go in the year.
“I am not a driver who will deliberately knock someone out of the way. I will continue to keep my nose clean and look after our car. I will think about the guys who have to write the checks and I will not jeopardize the car.
“Even if we have a bad race, if we collect points for fifth place then that is good. We need to keep working on the car. The Ganassi boys have found some speed in the Riley that we haven’t found, so we know there is potential in the car. We are hoping that Ford can help a little bit and that the series will allow the Rileys a little more aero. But we still need to do a better job with the car.”