Ryan Dalziel aiming to be a Detroit winner

31.05.2013: Fired-up endurance star Ryan Dalziel is aiming to build on his hard-fought second place

Fired-up endurance star Ryan Dalziel is aiming to build on his hard-fought second place in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Cars Series at Road Atlanta by finding Victory Lane in the Chevrolet Grand-Am Detroit 200 at Belle Isle .

The proud Scot was in determined mood as he left his home in Windermere, Florida, to fire up Starworks Motorsport’s title charge in Detroit this weekend.

The Fort Lauderdale- based outfit is fully focused on closing the gap at the top of rankings and Ryan and Venezuelan team-mate Alex Popow believe they have the car and the strategy to succeed at Belle Isle.

The 2012 Sports Car Driver of the Year, originally from Airdrie in Lanarkshire, Scotland, is currently fourth in the rankings – 17 points off the leaders.

He has made the most of a rare rest period – thanks to having no FIA World Endurance Championship campaign – to get even leaner and meaner for the fight ahead.

“It has actually been nice to have a break. Since the last race I have lost eight pounds – mainly through fitness and diet. It is hard to do that when you are on the road racing every weekend. As much as I miss the WEC, at this point it has been really good to focus on the Grand-Am.

“It has also been good to spend some time at home. But it will all change now – I am away every weekend in June. That is when you appreciate the time off. But I am fit and raring to go for this weekend.

“We are four races into the Rolex campaign and we were strong in two while we struggled in the other two. I think we are still recovering from having a poor Daytona 24. That said, we showed at the Circuit Of The Americas and Road Atlanta that we were as strong as we have been in previous years. We feel like we are trying to kick-start the campaign and to build some momentum.

“Detroit is not the easiest track for us to do that, but there have been a lot of Balance of Performance changes over the past year to make the Riley more competitive on the high downforce tracks. We had a good test at Sebring last week, and that was targeted at our high downforce performance and we made some good gains.

“We have brought in two more guys from last year’s WEC team and we are constantly trying to improve what we do. We definitely feel we are as strong as we have ever been.

“The series has given us a slight power boost and that is a step in the right direction. All credit to Grand-Am for listening to us.

“It has been difficult for them to make a decision based on our results – we have had good finishes but it has been down to great strategy. We know it is not a fix. We still need a little bit more, but it will help us. Last year at Detroit we struggled with power and aero. This year we go in with more power and more aero.

“This is a major event for the manufacturers, so we want to put on a really good show for Ford. The championship is also very tight so it would be good to get a decent haul of points.”

Ryan will be in Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series action on June 1 at the Chevrolet Grand-Am Detroit 200 at Belle Isle, after taking second place last time out at Road Atlanta.

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.

- MMA-


31.05.2013 / MaP

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