CORE values to the fore as Ryan suffers
AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES: Petit Le Mans, Road Atlanta
THE PLOT: Ryan Dalziel was left gutted, bruised and battered after a late collision cost CORE Autosport a Petit Le Mans finish at Road Atlanta.
The team – with Jon Bennett and Frankie Montecalvo – had shown they had the pace in the LMPC class.
But just nine laps from the end of the 10-hour race, Orlando-based Ryan was looking to consolidate fourth place in class when he was shunted from behind by the Dyson Racing LMP1 car. The 150mph collision sent Ryan into the wall.
It had been the second big smash of the day for the CORE Autosport crew. They had been third in class at the halfway point when Jon Bennett was hit by a GT car which had spun and was trying to rejoin the track. That meant lengthy repairs behind the wall and put the team on the back foot.
But Lanarkshire-born Ryan was delighted with the pace of the car, and being able to help Core Autosport clinch first and second in the driver standings and, first in the team championship in the American Le Mans Series.
“The guys did a tremendous job to get us out so quickly, and we were back in fourth place with a comfortable five-lap lead. We were comfortably the fastest LMPC car during the night session, and that showed we would have been the car to beat.
“We had to make a splash for fuel with nine laps remaining. On the way back out of the pits, we were hit by the LMP1 car. It was not clever. The white line that separates pit lane and the race track is not to be crossed during race conditions but the Dyson driver did just that. I know it wasn’t intentional but it still shouldn’t have happened.
“There were just nine laps left and it wrecked our race. They hit us hard from behind. We were accelerating up the gears and were probably doing about 80mph when he drove right into us at about 150mph.
“It was a huge hit that sent me into the wall. I haven’t had a hit as big as that for a while, but CORE Autosport have built a safe and strong car, so I only suffered some cuts and bruises. Fortunately, I will heal but I feel terrible that a long season and a long race ended with someone trying to be a hero and the CORE guys have a wrecked car.
“But at least CORE Autosport clinched the drivers’ and team championships so I am proud to have helped them achieve that. I look forward to many more opportunities with them in the future. I want to thank Jon Bennett for his vision in creating CORE Autosport, and his faith in me. I also want to thank Morgan Brady for his leadership skills with CORE and all the crew that made me feel welcome in my limited races with them. They were awesome to work with.”
THE FACTS: Ryan has now competed in three Petit Le Mans races. In 2005, he was with Corvette, then last year he was in the Jaguar RSR entry.
Ryan has had four Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series podiums in 2011 – a win at Mid-Ohio and third at Barber, Lime Rock and Watkins Glen. He has also had three fourth-place finishes.
Ryan’s previous win was the 2010 Rolex 24 At Daytona.
Find out more from www.ryandalziel.com.