CHAMPCAR/CART: Houston: Pacific Coast Motorsports race report

Another Top-Ten for Dalziel, Moreno 12th in Houston Pacific Coast Motorsports wrapped their third Champ Car race in as many weeks yesterday at the Grand Prix of Houston. It was a difficult weekend for the rookie squad as Alex Figge, the...

Another Top-Ten for Dalziel, Moreno 12th in Houston

Pacific Coast Motorsports wrapped their third Champ Car race in as many weeks yesterday at the Grand Prix of Houston. It was a difficult weekend for the rookie squad as Alex Figge, the full-time driver of the #29 Imperial Capital Bank car was deemed unable to participate after the Friday morning practice due to a thoracic compression as a result of his accident the previous weekend in Long Beach. "Super Sub" and PCM driver coach Roberto Moreno was tabbed to fill-in for the American rookie and began his driving duties Saturday morning.

Unhappy with their starting positions, Ryan Dalziel and Moreno took the checkered flag and immediately began their pursuit through the Champ Car field. Moreno's day took a turn for the worse after an early race incident required a pitstop for a new front nose. The change required a second stop as the #29 crew were unable to remove an allen-wrench from the front right-side of the nose. The process cost Moreno one lap. In the meantime, Scotsman Ryan Dalziel drove a mistake-free race and found himself in second place when a late race yellow flag fell into the hands of the PCM crew. The caution meant Dalziel could make his final pitstop under caution, while the leaders had just pitted under green flag conditions. Dalziel only needed around six seconds of fuel, he would be sent back on track at the completion of the tire change, meaning his pitstop would be around half the time of a normal stop. With two perfect stops in the books, his third was unlucky, the fuel probe jammed on injection, and the fuel would not flow. His six second stop took twice as long as anticipated and Dalziel was back in ninth position as the green flag fell.

Several drivers were involved in incidents in the final 20 laps of the Houston race Dalziel stayed clear and brought his #28 Ironclad machine home in eighth place, his best Champ Car finish. Despite intermittent gearbox problems, Moreno persisted, he finished 12th in his 118th Champ Car start.

Ryan Dalziel #28 Ironclad/DP01/Cosworth/Bridgestone: "Very, very good. I am really pleased. The car was good, and we are showing good pace. We had a problem getting the fuel in during the last stop which was unfortunate, but the crew did a great job, a very good job. All the bumps made it a mentally draining race. I don't feel as drained physically but very soar for sure, I'll be sore for a few days. We are making progress for sure. This is our second top-ten in a week and my best finish, for us to run eighth at this point for us is very encouraging."

Roberto Moreno #29 Imperial Capital Bank/DP01/Cosworth/Bridgestone: "The toughest part of the race was the things I didn't anticipate, such as shifting issues. The engineers and crew gave me a great car but I had a downshift delay intermittently that made me lost confidence and my rhythm. It would come and go so that was a little frustrating. At the same time, it was so much fun, I haven't trained in 2.5 months and to jump in at the last minute on a circuit so challenging, I don't think its to shabby. I am wishing a speed recovery for Alex and I appreciate them giving me this opportunity. I think we made another step in development and I think you will see the Pacific Coast Motorsports team enjoying a lot of success very soon."

Tyler Tadevic, team director: "Ryan drove a great race today and we are really proud of him. His second top-ten finish in a week and had we not had a problem with fuel flow, he would have finished a couple of spots further up the field. Roberto did a great job with the Imperial Capital Bank car under tough circumstances. To jump in the car without any recent running and also without any notice at all, he did a great job. He brings a lot of value to PCM and he did a great job this weekend. Our goal was to get through these first three races, almost to tread the water till we could get back to testing and really work on our development with both the cars and drivers. I think we exceeded everyone's expectations the last three weeks, we certainly exceeded our own and I am really proud of the entire team. Now though, we are going to finally lay down some testing miles and the next few weeks will be a very important time for our engineers and drivers."

-credit: pcm

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Ryan Dalziel , Roberto Moreno , Alex Figge