Dalziel Podiums in Second at Sebring 12 Hours
20 March 2011
The 28-year-old Scotsman, debuting for Jon Bennett’s Core Autosport in the No.005 LMPC entry – shared with Bennett and season-regular Franky Montecalvo, put the team in a great position during Friday’s qualifying session. Orlando-based Dalziel claimed second in class behind the Petersen/Cameron/Guasch driven No.36 Genoa Racing entry – eventual winners of the LMPC class battle at the Sebring road course.
Dalziel might have lost out on the battle for pole but he soon steered the No.005 into the lead as he took the start and eventually built up a twenty second lead before the first driver change close to the two-hour mark.
The team suffered a set-back a third of the way into the race as Montecalvo came into contact with an LMP entry damaging the nose resulting in lost laps in the pits. With Dalziel back behind the wheel, and with his Grand-Am team boss, Peter Baron, working strategy for Core Autosport at Sebring, the Scot raced his way back onto the lead lap in his second two-hour stint.
Bennett later resumed driving duties and handed back to Montecalvo with the No.005 back in the lead. A resurgent No.36 entry, this time with Dane Cameron driving, hounded the lead Core Autosport entry, eventually claiming P1. Dalziel returned to complete the race but despite the Scottish ace’s best efforts, including closing a two-minute gap down to just 44 seconds at the checkered, the team had to settle for a fighting second place on the podium ahead of the sister No.006 car in third.
“Today was awesome,” stated Dalziel post-race. “This is a brand new team so to come out here and get both cars (005/006) onto the podium is a huge accomplishment for Core Autosport and Jon Bennett. I know we had something for the No.36 car but yellows just didn’t fall our way towards the end. We had the speed and reliability and I’m proud to have been part of this program.
“We had a large set-back early in the race with contact to the nose. The team replaced the whole front-end in under five laps and kept us in the hunt. The last hour and 45 minutes I drove some of the best laps of my life to try and catch Dane (Cameron) but we came up short. The team is going to be a contender this season, no doubt about it. I’ll be following and supporting them and hope to drive for them again in the future!”
The ‘Sebring 12 Hours’ was won outright by the LMP1 ORECA Peugeot 908 HDi, driven by Nicolas Lapierre, Loic Duval and Olivier Panis.
Dalziel returns to sports car action in Round 3 of the 2011 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series, hosted at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Friday 8th – Saturday 9th April – www.grand-am.com