Dalziel stopped short in Virginia Alton, Virginia (April 23, 2006) -- Ryan Dalziel's second career start at the Virginia International Raceway, in today's fifth round of the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series, the 'VIR 400', proved less than...
Dalziel stopped short in Virginia
Alton, Virginia (April 23, 2006) -- Ryan Dalziel's second career start at the Virginia International Raceway, in today's fifth round of the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series, the 'VIR 400', proved less than memorable as the Scottish racer failed to complete a racing lap in the Pacific Coast Motorsports #89 Playboy/Vonage/Palms Pontiac Riley.
Having qualified 12th on the grid for the 2-hour 45-minute endurance sprint after yesterday's first ever qualifying race, Dalziel watched from pit-lane this afternoon as his team-mate, Alex Figge, got off to a flying start at the 3.27-mile Virginia road course.
The 25-year-old American carved a path through his Daytona Prototype rivals to take the #89 car as high as third before the first full course caution of the day on lap 9. That was as good as it got for the Scottish-American pairing as two drive-through penalties in succession dumped the team's spirited challenge from a potential podium position down to 21st and a lap behind the leaders.
Figge then reported problems with the engine and as he returned to pit-lane for the driver changeover the PCM crew pulled the engine cover off to investigate the problem. When it rains it pours and as luck would have it the team incurred their third penalty of the day for having too many crew members over the wall.
Strapped in and ready to go, Ryan was finally released, the team unable to identify the power problem, but no sooner had he hit the track when the engine problem, suspected to be electrical, became terminal. The Scot steered the ailing #89 car back to the pits and into retirement, the second of the season, having failed to complete a single race lap in anger.
Commenting on what was initially a promising run for the team Dalziel said:
"I'm naturally disappointed that we had to retire here today as overall we've enjoyed a competitive car throughout the weekend. Alex did a great job to get to the front of the pack but we were demoted to backmarkers and had an engine problem by the time I took over. We've been quick in our last two races but haven't had the results to show for it, hopefully we can turn things around next time out in California!"
Today's race was won by the #23 Porsche Crawford Daytona Prototype, driven by Patrick Long and Mike Rockenfeller, after a gutsy last-lap move from third to first.
Round 6 of the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series heads back to California with the 'U.S. Sports Car Invitational' hosted at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Monterey. 5-7 May.