Dalziel Teams Up With United Autosports For Winter GT Races
THE PLOT: Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car star and winner of the prestigious 2010 Rolex 24 Daytona, Ryan Dalziel is joining United Autosports for a New Year double - the Dunlop 24 Dubai (January 12-14) and the Gulf 12 Hours at the Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi (January 20).
The Orlando-based Scot will team up with Venezuelan duo Enzo Potolicchio and Alex Popow in the #36 Audi R8 LMS.
Ryan, 29, originally from Lanarkshire, led the Starworks Motorsports team to victory in the final round of the 2011 Grand-Am series at Mid-Ohio and will be hoping to take that winning form into the Middle East double-header.
Leeds-based Anglo-American team United Autosports - co-owned by American Zak Brown and Brit Richard Dean – will be tackling the two prestigious races for the first time.
THE QUOTES: Ryan says: “I am really excited about racing with United Autosports in these two amazing endurance races.
“I raced twice in Dubai back in ‘95 and ‘96, for the 24H of Dubai Go-Kart race, winning the event in ’95 and I’ve been hoping for the opportunity to go back ever since. I saw how professional the United Autosports team was when they raced in Grand Am last season and I know Richard Dean from my early years back in the late 90s racing in the UK.
“I already know we will be contenders for the victory, and Enzo and Alex have worked really hard in the past few months to make this happen and I am hugely grateful to them.
“We thought it would be great preparation for us to get these two endurance events under our belt before the Rolex 24 at Daytona the week after Abu Dhabi. Driving the Audi R8 LMS will be a first for all of us but Audi is no stranger to endurance success so we expect great things.”
Richard Dean, Managing Director and co-owner of United Autosports, says: “I have known Ryan for a long time and he was a fierce competitor when he was younger racing in Vauxhall Junior on the British Touring car package.
“He always gave us a hard time but we've always admired his ability and he was always fast and fair. Recently I have been watching his progress out in America where he's made quite a name for himself.
“Although I don't know much about Alex and Enzo, they have been performing strongly in the Grand-Am series where United Autosports saw their ability from close quarters when we competed against them in the 2011 Rolex Daytona 24 hours.
“I believe Ryan set the fastest unofficial time for a Grand-Am car in free practice at the same event, so I am looking forward to actually working on the same team as Ryan this time and not trying to beat him!”
THE FACTS: The three drivers bring their sponsors to the Middle East endurance races, in which they all compete for the first time. The #36 Audi R8 LMS will be in the livery of Duncan Batteries,Taxand and Soloson in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Ryan will also spearhead Starworks Motorsport’s 2012 Grand-Am campaign, starting with the 50th anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona on January 28-29. He will also compete with Starworks in the Continental Tires Sports Car.
Ryan had four Rolex Grand-Am podiums in 2011 – a win at mid-Ohio and third at Barber, Lime Rock and Watkins Glen. He also had three fourth-place finishes.
Ryan also gave Starworks Motorsports its first DP victory, at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, in2008.
Find out more at www.ryandalziel.com.