SAMAX team post first win notes

Zogaib relishes breakthrough victory, sets sights on Watkins Glen News and notes from Rolex Series' newest race winner Fast start for Zogaib The Rolex Sports Car Series 250 race win was a career first for Henri Zogaib and co-driver...

Zogaib relishes breakthrough victory, sets sights on Watkins Glen
News and notes from Rolex Series' newest race winner

Fast start for Zogaib

The Rolex Sports Car Series 250 race win was a career first for Henri Zogaib and co-driver Ryan Dalziel as the two backed up their debut podium appearance together at VIR to go one better with a win in the SAMAX Motorsport No. 2 Dinan BMW-Riley at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca last weekend.

After getting his racing career rolling in 2003, Zogaib has accelerated his progress all the way to the top step of the podium, gravitating to the top competitive environment for endurance road racing in North America with the Rolex Sports Car Series. The strong 2008 season start comes early in his career for Zogaib, who made just three Daytona Prototype starts in 2005 before returning to the category in 2007 with four races including a best finish of seventh to close out the year at Miller Motorsports Park.

Happy Homecoming

The SAMAX driver line-up share more than just a race trophy, as Zogaib and Dalziel both also call Orlando home. Zogaib was thrilled to take in the post-race celebrations with birthday boy SAMAX team owner Peter Baron and the entire SAMAX crew, but he was most excited about getting back home, as the dedicated family man got to celebrate with the most important members of his fan club.

"It was fantastic to celebrate the race win with Ryan and of course Peter (Baron) on his birthday, but it was even better when I got home to my children!" enthused Zogaib, who earlier in the season utilized his race efforts to promote the Florida Children's Hospital, a cause close to his heart.

Win caps comeback trail for SAMAX- Last weekend's 250 race victory didn't just mark a remarkable accomplishment for Zogaib and Daliziel in their young racing careers, but it also demonstrated how much progress the SAMAX Motorsport organization had made since Zogaib first became involved with the team at the start of the 2008 Rolex Sports Car Series season.

The Rolex 24 At Daytona brought big promise, as Zogaib was joined by Allan McNish, Mike Rockenfeller, and Lucas Luhr in the SAMAX entry. But it a race finish was not in the cards, as a motor problem kept the all-star line up from racing into the night.

After regrouping from the Daytona weekend, Zogaib decided to go from a one-off Daytona race outing to a longer-term commitment as SAMAX made the switch to the Dinan powerplant. The team also tabbed long-time SAMAX driver Ryan Dalziel, fresh from an impressive rookie campaign in Champ Cars, to team with Zogaib in the cockpit.

The pairing brought instant results, as the combination scored a top-ten at Homestead with Zogaib putting his previous experience on the track to good use and moving up early before handing off to Dalziel to come home in tenth. The team also moved forward with the addition of the well-respected Phil LePan as crew chief to the Ponano Beach, Florida-based organization.

SunTrust recognizes SAMAX race progress

April's Bosch 250 race at VIR didn't start off at all as Zogaib and SAMAX had hoped, as a transmission problem in qualifying saw Zogaib making his first Daytona Prototype start on the 3.27-mile track from deep in the field. After getting off to a solid start, he turned the machine over to Dalziel, who made great use of the fast SAMAX pitstops and a strong Dinan-Riley combination to come through the field and hassle the leader in the closing laps, coming just over one second shy of the race win.

But that breakthrough result not only saw Zogaib make his first podium appearance, but he and Dalziel also collected a check on race morning at Laguna Seca for their VIR performance, scoring the SunTrust "Improve Your Position" award as they made the biggest gains during the VIR race. And after moving from 17th at the start to take the Laguna Seca win, the two can look forward to another award from SunTrust to start the weekend off at Watkins Glen.

Looking to the Glen

The June 7th Sahlen's Six Hours at the Glen will see SAMAX return to endurance format competition, and the team is expected to announce an exciting new addition to the driver line-up for the upstate New York event.

-credit: samax

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Ryan Dalziel , Allan McNish , Lucas Luhr , Peter Baron , Mike Rockenfeller , Henri Zogaib