Watkins Glen Preview
THE PLOT: Ryan Dalziel could be forgiven for being sick of the sight of Chip Ganassi Racing duo Memo Rojas and Scott Pruett.
The flying Scotsman has spent most of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series campaign looking at their exhaust pipe.
But, as he heads into New York for the Watkins Glen 200 this weekend, August 12-13, Ryan is determined to give the Fort Lauderdale-based Starworks Motorsport team a vital shot in the arm.
The 28-year-old will join forces with Venezeulan Alex Popow, 35, to
tackle the 3.4-mile track in New York in the #8 Ford/Riley. Popow has
been in the #2 Starworks car this season.
Ryan has come fourth in the last three Grand-Am races — the Rolex Sports Car Series 250 Driven by VisitFlorida.com at Road America, the Continental Tire Sports Car Festival Powered by Mazda at Laguna Seca and last time out at the American Red Cross 250 in New Jersey.
Now the Orlando resident is determined to get a foot on the podium at Watkins Glen.
“It has been a difficult couple of months. We definitely are feeling some frustration as a team. We feel we are definitely the fourth-placed car at the moment. It is the same three cars consistently in front of us.
“There are moments in each weekend where we can compete but we struggle with our tirewear, but for us we feel we are not getting as good tirewear as we need to get towards the end of the races although we have shown pace throughout the race and the race weekend, when it comes down to it in the last 10-15minutes in the last two races, we have just struggled a little bit with keeping the tires on the car.
“Since the last race, I think we have figured out some things to try and we will see. We definitely need to do a better job to close the gap to the front cars at this points but that is what it is all about.
“A podium in the next race would be excellent. It is a shorter race and Watkins Glen has been a little bit of an unfortunate place for us over the years. We have never really had good results there so every time we go back we are trying to make sure that this is the one that changes our luck there.
“I am going to be driving with Alex Popow in the #8 car. I have done a lot with Alex. Not only do I coach him on Grand-Am weekends, but I am helping with his other ventures in racing. He lives in Florida and we meet at the workshop once or twice a week so we get on really well. Alex has a lot of potential.”
Ryan was winner of the 24 Hours of Daytona with Action Express Racing in 2010, before completing the season with Starworks Motorsport.
He finished fifth overall in last year’s Driver Standings.
Ryan is currently 9th in the standings, on 175 points.
The Watkins Glen 200, starting at 6pm EST on Saturday 13th August, will be broadcast live by SPEED – www.speedtv.com.
More information at ryandalziel.com