Ryan Dalziel is Homing in on Championship Points at Homestead
24 April 2012
Grand-Am pace-setter Ryan Dalziel aims to put the Home in Homestead this weekend by serving up a Sunday sizzler for Starworks.
Ryan, from Windermere in Florida, reckons the Rolex Sports Car Series front-runners can make the most of their edge in being on Fort Lauderdale-based Starworks’ home patch. He is determined to leave the Grand Prix of Miami on Sunday with enough points to have maintained his championship lead.
And he is refusing to take his foot off the throttle despite a blistering start to the season that has seen his grab podiums and class wins in the Grand-Am series, World Endurance Championship and American Le Mans Series.
For this weekend, Ryan — who is originally from Lanarkshire in Scotland — will be back alongside Venezuelan Enzo Potolicchio in the 8 Ford-Riley.
The two were part of the squad that took a stunning runner-up spot at the Daytona 24 and they added a fighting fourth place last time out at Barber in Alabama.
But, while new series rules should help them close the gap on the Corvettes, Ryan reckons they need a Plan B if going for the win is out of the question
We have always been very strong at Homestead. There is a bit of extra motivation because it is the home track for Starworks, and apart from Daytona, it is the next nearest track for me so I always enjoy going down to Miami.
Thankfully, Grand-Am have made some alterations to the rules since Barber so we are looking forward to closing the gap on the Corvettes.
I think we are still a little behind them on performance, but hopefully we will balance that out over the next few races and we will start to get good races between the manufacturers.
We have to keep our eye on the prize. We are leading in the points and we want to continue to stay as close to the top while we are not as competitive as we would like to be.
Barber was a very good result for us because we knew we did not have the speed — we got good points because we got a fourth place finish out of maybe an eighth place car.
Going into Homestead, we will need to see how our performance is. If we are strong and fast then we can look at the race win. If we are struggling then we will go into point-scoring mode.
From a personal point of view, I don’t think I have had this much confidence in my ability for a long time. It definitely adds a little bounce to the step when I think about how the season has started, but we still have such a long way to go.
Over the course of three championships I have had good results, but it is still very early in each one.
This is round three of a long Grand-Am championship and we have to get our DP program back to where it was at Daytona. We know what we have to do and hopefully we have made some good gains.
Miami is always a fun event, with a good turn-out. I like racing on rovals — you know, road courses within ovals — so it is good to go back to another one. The track layout is good. It is very technical and very tough on equipment and tires.
The most important thing is to try to figure out tire management. The car that will win the race is the car that manages tires the best.
The Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Grand Prix of Miami starts on Sunday, 1pm (ET). It will be live on Speed TV.
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.
He also grabbed an LMPC class win and third place overall in the CORE autosport car at Long Beach in California earlier this month.
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.
Find out more at www.ryandalziel.com.