Life's A Beach for Birthday Boy Ryan Dalziel After ALMS Class Win
15 April 2012
LONG BEACH, Ca: Birthday boy Ryan Dalziel got the perfect present as he and Alex Popow steered the CORE autosport #06 Soloson Import ORECA FLM09 to a LMPC class win in Saturday’s Tequila Patrón American Le Mans Series at Long Beach after starting on pole in California. Ryan, from Windermere in Florida, and Venezuelan Alex were streets ahead on the Long Beach course as they added to CORE’s opening day win at at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring last month.
Sunshine replaced the deluge that had caused qualifying to be cancelled.
The #06 car began the two-hour event with Alex behind the wheel. Ryan and Alex know each other well from their Starworks Motorsport Grand-Am commitments, and the Venezuelan held onto top spot until about 50 minutes into the race when he dropped to second spot after contact with a slower GT car.
Ryan — who turned 30 over the race weekend — took over at the 56-minute mark during a full-course caution. When the green flag flew with 54 minutes to go, Ryan was fast while saving fuel, pulling out a decisive lead of more than 20 seconds.
The win for Ryan — originally from Lanarkshire in Scotland — was the latest chapter in what is fast becoming a dream season.
He leads the Grand-Am Rolex Daytona Prototype rankings after a second place at the Daytona 24. He leads the LMP2 class in the new World Endurance Series after a class win and third place overall at Sebring.
And he celebrated 10 years in the States with another winner’s trophy.
But he admitted he has to pinch himself just to check it is all really happening…
“What a great day – Long Beach means so much to me and to get a win to celebrate my 10-year anniversary is just great.
“I had been bugging Alex and CORE for the last few weeks to allow me to rejoin the team to race with them at Long Beach.
“I have known Alex for a few years, I’ve driven with him as a team mate for some of that time and I wanted to help Alex extend his championship lead with another win.
“The performance that Alex put on – to never have seen this place before Friday and to hold off guys who have raced here for so many years – that’s the performance that won the race.
“The pit stop was extremely fast and we were able to save fuel. I had a lot of fun and I hope to return to CORE autosport at some point soon to win more races with Alex.
“What a start to the year. Things have been going great — I have had four podiums out of six races and that is a good start to anyone’s season.
“I am leading two championships and have now added another win the American Le Mans Series. I have to be pretty happy with that — I just don’t want it to end. But everyone is working really hard and now we are getting the rewards.”
The Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series continues with round three - the Grand Prix of Miami on Sunday, April 29, at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Ryan is also leading Starworks Motorsport’s 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship campaign. They started with an LMP2 class win and third place overall at Sebring in Florida.
As well as that result, Ryan and Starworks were runners-up in the Daytona 24, 2012. 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 Motorsport its first DP victory, at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, in 2008.
Next for CORE autosport is the third round of ALMS competition, at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Ca. on May 12.
Find out more at www.ryandalziel.com.