Ryan Dalziel grabs Watkins Glen podium
14 August 2011
WATKINS GLEN, New York: Canadian Tire 200 At The Glen
Ryan Dalziel stormed back on to the podium in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports car Series at Watkins Glen.
The Orlando-based Scot barely put a wheel wrong as he held off AIM Autosport’s Mark Wilson in the Canadian Tire 200 at the Glen in New York. The result brought an end to three consecutive fourth places in the Grand-Am Series.
The Fort Lauderdale-based Starworks Motorsport team had made some big changes to the #8 Ford/Riley ahead of the race, and saw immediate results with a very quick car in testing and qualifying.
Lanarkshire-born Ryan, 28, and Popow qualified in ninth position and Venezeulan started the race. Popow worked his way up to third place, then over-took Ganassi Racing’s Memo Rojas on the re-start after the only caution in the two-hour race.
He dropped back to fourth just before Ryan took over on lap 33. The flying Scotsman was straight on the pace and soon had the Starworks car back in third.
Ryan briefly led the race during the final fuel pitstops before bringing the Starworks car home safely in third place as he battled blistered tires over the last few laps. The #8 INA Venezuela/Aviar Airlines Ford/Riley was the final car on the lead lap.
“It was a really strong third place. Alex put in a great stint before handing over the car over at the 45-minute mark in fourth place. I fought my way back up to third after a couple of great pitstops from the team.
“Unfortunately, many teams were struggling with front tires blistering. I had pushed really hard on my second stint – narrowing the gap to under nine seconds - but I over-cooked the front tires, causing blisters.
“It meant I had to ease back and settle for third. But there were plenty of positives. We had the third fastest lap and a great result for the team after a couple of tough race weekends where, although we finished in the top four, we never had a fast race car.
“This weekend if we had been able to get a yellow we could have raced for the win. There was only one yellow at 11 minutes, so we never got a chance to close the gap to the top two cars.”
Ryan now has three podiums in 2011 - third at Barber and Lime Rock and now at Watkins Glen. He also finished fourth in the previous three Rolex Series races. This was his sixth top finish in the last eight races.
Ryan won the 2010 Rolex 24 At Daytona, and gave Starworks Motorsport its first DP victory at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in 2008. He finished fifth in the Driver Standings last year.
Round 11 of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series is the Montreal 200 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on August 20.
Find out more at www.ryandalziel.com
Ryan and Alex celebrate their podium at Watkins Glen. Pic courtesy of Grand-Am/Brian Cleary