EFFORT Racing Continues Success at St. Petersburg
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., - EFFORT Racing's successful streak in the 2015 Pirelli World Challenge championship continues, following Rounds 3 and 4 and the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. The team celebrated three more podiums, to add to the previous four, with drivers Ryan Dalziel and Michael Lewis on the temporary downtown street circuit.
Ryan Daziel started Round 3 in the #31 EFFORT Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R in 3rd. A successful standing start brought him to second place in the early laps, which was then followed by an extended caution period. Michael Lewis started 3rd in the GTA class, but masterfully worked his way to first before the caution. The field restarted with 25 minutes of racing remaining. Both drivers not only held their position but put up strong battles to gain ground in the remaining laps, while also enduring another caution period. Ultimately, Dalziel finished 2nd, earning his third second place finish of the season, also taking the GT championship lead, and Lewis finished first in the GTA class.
The starting grid for Round 4 was set based on the fastest lap times of the previous race, resulting in Dalziel starting in 7th and Lewis starting 3rd in class. Unlike the previous day, Sunday's standing race start brought everyone into turn one intact and contact free. A strong start for Dalziel brought the scot up to 4th place, while teammate Lewis gained a class position, before another extended full course caution temporarily halted the excitement. Dalziel lost a position as the field went back to green, but put on a show for the fans in turn one by masterfully taking back the position, much to their delight. He stayed in the lead group, and had closed in on the next GT car as the checker flag came out, earning a 4th place finish. Lewis also gained ground in the GTA class, closing in on the leader as the checker flag waived, earning a 2nd place finish, his worst of the 2015 season.
The GT points battle remains close, with Dalziel deep in the fight for the GT points lead heading into Round 5 and Lewis maintaining his GTA lead. Festivities for Round 5 of the Pirelli World Challenge will commence April 17th and continue until Sunday, April 19th.
Michael Lewis//#31 EFFORT Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R
Race two was a lot like race one with a long safety car period, which was holding us back again. Once we got going after that start, I got off the line well, and I was really confident in the car and the race track compared to yesterday. I was braking deeper and using the car to rotate more. My engineer was giving me more confidence last night to do so. MY confidence was there and I was able to pick through some guys on the restart and just stay out of the way. I almost got to that lead on the last laps. The Mercedes was struggling a little, but congratulations to him. We were close, but came up short. Big thank you to EFFORT Racing and Curb Records. That Porsche was pretty solid. With some confidence on the street courses, we're looking good for Long Beach.
Ryan Dalziel // #41 EFFORT Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R
Great weekend. We were a little nervous coming into St. Petersburg. Typically, in the past, the GT3R has struggled a little bit here. I think we did a great job as a team. Came in second in the points, and leaving in the lead with a podium and a 4th place. I'm happy with that, heading into Long Beach. We're going to be strong there. Great job to EFFORT and Porsche. I'm a little sad we couldn't continue our 9 out of 10 podium streak, but 8 out of 10 is okay. We'll regroup and go to Long Beach in a few weeks time and hopefully get our first win of the year.