Dalziel Relishing 09 Season Start with Rolex 24 at Daytona
Orlando, Florida. (January 20, 2009) – Ryan Dalziel’s 2009 race season kicks off with an early start as the international sports car community gathers at the Daytona International Speedway in Florida this weekend for the 47th running of the ‘Rolex 24 at Daytona’, the opening round of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Presented by Crown Royal Cask No.16, Thursday 22nd – Sunday 25th January.
The Lanarkshire-born, Orlando-based racer heads to the ‘twice-around-the-clock’ endurance classic a winner in Grand-Am having picked up his maiden Daytona Prototype victory steering a BMW-Riley to the checkered flag at Laguna Seca last May – the 26-year-old Scot reaching the top step after numerous podium appearances since an impressive series debut back in 2005.
Dalziel’s ’09 campaign again sees him with the same winning engine-chassis combination, this time racing for the Alegra Motorsports squad – the former ‘Rolex 24 at Daytona’ GT Champions graduating to the Daytona Prototype class for this year’s series. Ryan’s team-mates for this weekend’s race include owner-driver Carlos de Quesada (USA), ex-F1 and IndyCar racer Tomas Enge (CZH), Chapman Ducote (USA) and Jean-Francois Dumoulin (CAN)
While Dalziel and de Quesada will pair together for the season, the team’s bolstered line-up for the ‘Rolex 24 at Daytona’ is welcomed by Ryan, the Scottish ace only too familiar with the demands of endurance racing and the skill required to navigate Daytona’s part-road course, part-oval layout through both day and night. With the squad boasting a wealth of sports car experience, Ryan will be hoping for a return to the podium having finished a career-high second in the famed event just two seasons ago after an epic, wheel-to-wheel battle in the late stages of the race with Columbia’s Juan Pablo Montoya.
“I’m really excited to be participating in another Rolex 24 at Daytona,” stated Dalziel. “It’s a great way to start the season and I’m looking forward to competing for Alegra Motorsports for the first time. We had an encouraging test at Daytona earlier in the month, despite some new car teething issues, building our speed throughout so we’re confident we can have a good showing when we race in earnest.
“Our line-up is incredibly strong, four out of the five us have been on the podium in this event, either in a Daytona Prototype or in a GT so we all know what it takes to be successful here. You definitely need a lot of luck in a 24 hour race as well but we certainly have all the right ingredients to put together a strong effort and get the 2009 season underway!”
For further information on the ‘Rolex 24 at Daytona’ and the 2009 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Presented by Crown Royal Cask No.16 please log on to: www.grand-am.com
ENDS – www.ryandalziel.com