RYAN DALZIEL MISSES OUT ON MOTOWN HIT
Starworks forced to settle for third place at Detroit
Ryan Dalziel now focusing on Le Mans test day
Frustrated endurance star Ryan Dalziel was left ruing the victory that got away in a dramatic Chevrolet Grand-Am Detroit 200 at Belle Isle.
Scottish star Ryan and Venezuelan team-mate Alex Popow proved they had a car that could win the race, when Ryan topped the timesheets in practice.
Then Alex produced a battling stint to move the Fort Lauderdale-based Starworks Motorsport #2 Ford Riley from third at the start into the lead.
Alex brought the car in for a pitstop under a full yellow flag caution just after the hour mark.
But, ironically a power boost from Grand-Am chiefs meant less fuel economy in the Ford Riley, and that counted against the team as the pitstop meant Ryan rejoined the race in third.
Ryan – from Windermere in Florida - tried everything he could but just couldn’t make the passes on the tight street circuit and they had to settle for third place.
But the result, and an early crash for title pacesetters Memo Rojas and Scott Pruett, meant they still closed the gap at the top the championship to seven points.
Now Ryan – originally from Airdrie in Lanarkshire, Scotland – will turn his attention to Le Mans in France, where he will take part in the annual test day on June 9.
The 2012 Speed.com Sports Car Driver of the Year is hoping to follow up last year’s class win in the classic 24-hour race with a victory for the SRT Viper.
Starworks team principal PETER BARON explained: “I think the Grand-Am series chiefs got the horsepower right with the Ford, but it drinks a little bit more gas with the extra 200 revs, so the Chevrolets were able to leapfrog us. It is a case of damned if you do, and damned if you don’t there.”
RYAN SAYS: “We are obviously disappointed. There are weekends where you feel that when you’re this strong you’d surely come away with a victory. We had a great car and great pitstops by the team, but we suffered on fuel mileage and had to take on four or five more seconds of fuel to finish the race after the yellows.
“But we’ve moved up to third and the next string of tracks really suit our car, so we’ve got to concentrate on that.
“Alex is driving excellently just now and the team is really finding its feet. We have been really working on our off-track team-building and, this weekend, I can honestly say that we are getting close to where we want to be.
“We have one eye on championship but we are race winners and we are here to win so we won’t be happy until we translate ‘what should have beens.....to what just happened’.
“Now, I am off to Le Mans and I am really excited to get back to France and back behind the SRT Viper GTS-R.”
NOTES: Ryan will be in the SRT Viper car this weekend, when he takes part in the annual test day ahead of the ACO Le Mans 24 Hours. Then he will jet back to the United States to take part in the Diamond Cellar Classic at Mid-Ohio in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series.
Ryan was second at Road Atlanta and Circuit Of The Americas in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series. He 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
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