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2008 News

Promising Pace Fails to Translate for Dalziel and SAMAX

IMG_2853.JPGOrlando, Florida (June 23, 2008) – Saturday’s ‘EMCO Gears Classic’, Round 7 of the 2008 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Presented by Crown Royal Cask No.16, brought the frustrations of a second-straight retirement for Ryan Dalziel as the Scot failed to turn a lap in anger at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in the #2 SAMAX Motorsport BMW-Riley Daytona Prototype.

The 2.258-mile, 13-turn Lexington track hosted a rollercoaster of a weekend for Dalziel and team-mate Henri Zogaib.  While all the early indicators pointed to another strong showing from the race-winning SAMAX entry, an engine issue put a brief halt to the Florida-based team’s progress but they bounced back following a change of power-unit to storm the timesheets on Saturday morning.

Dalziel was the fastest Daytona Prototype runner in the first of Saturday’s two practice sessions, the 26-year-old lapping in 1m18.190s to head the field.  In the second outing Ryan was again the benchmark runner, his lap time of 1m18.411s set early in the session and heading the charts until some ‘sticker’ runs by a couple of rivals dropped him to third overall.

Zogaib took the start of the 2-hour 45-minute race but an opening lap ‘off’ had a knock on affect with the new engine and he pitted on lap seven with Dalziel strapping in while the team checked out the overheating issues.  Ryan headed out on track on the next lap, the race running under the first full-course caution of the day, but returned to the pits for further investigation.  While he headed back out again shortly after, still under yellows, his participation in the race lasted barely a lap as he was forced to retire the car to avoid further damage to the engine.

Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty won the 76-lap race in the #99 GAINSCO Pontiac-Riley, the American duo, the reigning Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Champions, picking up their first win of the 2008 season.

“Well again the car was fast all weekend,” reflected Dalziel.  “We were one of the front-running entries and our pace on Saturday morning, when I was fastest in the first session and held the top-spot for the majority of the second session, certainly underlined that.  That’s the positive thing we have to take from an event like this!

“The SAMAX car’s been good at every track we’ve visited so it’s unfortunate that we’ve had a couple of luckless race’s in June.  Daytona’s up next and as it’s our home race we’re certainly hoping that we’ll have a bit of a turn-around and get back up where we belong.”

Round 8 of the 2008 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Presented by Crown Royal Cask No.16, the ‘Brumos Porsche 250’, takes place at the Daytona International Speedway in Florida, Thursday 3rd July – www.grand-am.com

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