RYAN DALZIEL TO GET TITLE CHARGE ON RIGHT ROAD AT ATLANTA
Endurance star Ryan Dalziel is hoping to bounce back from Barber and get his Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series title charge back on track at Road Atlanta.
2012 Speed.com Sports Car Driver of the Year Ryan — from Windermere in Florida - is eyeing up a podium in Georgia after their sixth-place finish last time out in Alabama.
And proud Scot Ryan - originally from Airdrie in Lanarkshire — is determined to make sure his national Saltire flag is flying high on Saturday night.
Ryan has been in stunning form this season, following on from his stellar 2012 when he helped Fort Lauderdale-based Starworks Motorsport to the FIA WEC LMP2 title and second place in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series.
He knows the flowing curves at Road Atlanta will suit his style when he teams up with Venezuelan ace Alex Popow, but he is still hoping series chiefs will give their Ford-powered Riley prototype a power boost.
However, until that happens, Ryan promises more fireworks in the Starworks...
RYAN SAYS: “We have to be looking for a podium this weekend. We will be one of the cars to beat so, first and foremost, we want a podium. Or, if we can’t be on a podium, then we have to at least finish ahead of the teams in front of us in the standings.
“We always go into the season trying to be the most consistent. We feel like it has not been the best start to the season.
“We weren’t too happy with Daytona and we weren’t happy at Barber, but we know we are coming into a stretch of tracks where we are traditionally quite good.
“It was all about keeping close enough to the leaders through the tracks where you know you’ll struggle so that you can make the most of the better tracks.
“That’s what we have done so far. We've kept the car in one piece, we suffered no damage and we continue to fight under the radar to try to do the best job we can.
“But the next three or four races are definitely better for us. We are looking for a little bit of help on the rules side, and also for a little luck to go our way.
“We really need to get ahead of the Corvettes. That is proving to be an uphill struggle for the Riley cars but we will figure it out.
“We now have to work out a strategy and a set-up to give us a chance.
“In three races in a row, the Ford/Riley has been bottom of the speed traps. We are a little confused but we don’t make the rules. We have to abide by them and get our heads down and try to make it work. I know the series has a tough job and I commend them for their efforts.”
RYAN ON ROAD ATLANTA: “I am a big fan. I have had a lot of success there over the years.
“The big challenge is that it is the first time for the DP cars there, so we will need to see how quickly we can adapt the cars and which team finds the best set-up most quickly.
“But we do feel the faster, medium-to-high downforce tracks seem to be where our cars work the best so we are pretty confident going into the race.
“We proved in Austin that we have a car to get a result on a track with a lot of momentum. Atlanta should be the same — it does have a couple of uphill straights that will hurt us but we will keep working on the car.
“In Barber, we don’t feel like we had the power we needed, but we didn’t have the car we wanted either. There is plenty more to come and we will get there.
“We were definitely disappointed after Barber but, in all honesty, we were exactly where we expected to be - about fifth or sixth.”
NOTES: Ryan managed a career-best second place in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series in 2012, with a win at Watkins Glen, second place in the Rolex 24 at Daytona and third at Sahlen’s Six Hours Of The Glen and Laguna Seca. He also won the Rolex 24 in 2010.
He 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.
Ryan and Starworks Motorsport won the FIA World Endurance LMP2 Championship, thanks to class wins at Sebring in Florida, the Le Mans 24 Hours and Brazil. They were also on the podium at Silverstone in the UK, Japan, China and Bahrain.
He also grabbed an American Le Mans Series LMPC class wins at Petit Le Mans, Baltimore and Long Beach in California as well as a third place in class at Mosport in Canada.
Find out more at www.ryandalziel.com
Follow Ryan on Twitter: @ryan_dalziel
Facebook: Ryan Dalziel Official Fan Club