Ryan Dalziel 2010 Preview Q&A
Orlando, Florida (January 20, 2010) – Scotland’s Ryan Dalziel can put the frustrations of an incomplete 2009 racing schedule firmly behind him having been confirmed for a full-season competing in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series in 2010.
Dalziel (27) will start the season later this month driving in the ‘Rolex 24 at Daytona’ for Action Express Racing. He’ll be teamed behind the wheel of the #9 Riley-Porsche Daytona Prototype with Terry Borcheller, Joao Barbosa and Mike Rockenfeller for the endurance classic. Post Daytona, the Orlando-based racer will join the all-new Starworks Motorsport outfit to complete the season sharing the #8 Riley-BMW Daytona Prototype with Mike Forest.
Eager to preview the season ahead, Dalziel fielded the following questions:
Q: After a stop-start 2009 season – how important was it to you to get a full 2010 Grand-Am schedule confirmed?
Ryan Dalziel (RD): “I’ve been really unfortunate and disappointed the past two seasons not have completed a full-time racing schedule. I feel that I’ve worked really hard and maximized my opportunities when they have been given to me. 2010 is going to be a great season for me and I’ll be using the frustration that gathered over the past couple of years, using it as motivation for the season ahead!”
Q: How did your opportunity to race with Action Express at Daytona come about?
RD: “I was being pushed really hard from a couple of different directions from people that had some influence with the team owners. I was on their list throughout winter along with some really top-name drivers. It’s a huge honor to me that I was selected as one of their ‘Daytona’ drivers.”
Q: What are your expectations heading into the 2010 ‘Rolex 24 at Daytona’?
RD: “I enter every race hoping to win, but it’s not every race that you enter that you really have an opportunity to win! I believe that Action Express will be a front-running contender for the overall victory. We have a wealth of experience in the personnel that’s been put in place and our driver line-up is awesome. We’re all Grand-Am Rolex Series race winners and good friends. I couldn’t ask for a better line-up!”
Q: As a runner-up podium finisher in the ‘Rolex 24 at Daytona’ – what sets this race apart from the other famed endurance races?
RD: “I think it’s a unique endurance race. I’ve not had the pleasure of competing at Le Mans but I’ve done all the North American ‘famed’ endurance races. There’s no doubt that Daytona’s atmosphere during the night is simply electric. I think it really comes to life during the night and I love taking part in the 2-6am driving slot.
“Being runner-up in 2007 I know what it takes to get to the podium, and some would say we should have won that race. I believe that we should have and I believe I can get on that top step this time.”
Q: Looking ahead to the rest of the season racing for Starworks Motorsport – what do you personally bring to the start-up outfit?
RD: “I’m very excited about Daytona with Action Express but another part of me can’t wait until march and the second race at Homestead where I’ll get behind the wheel of the #8 Starworks Motorsport Riley-Dinan BMW. Many people know the team has been created by my good friend Peter Baron, who I’ve driven for with his previous team, SAMAX, between 2005 and 2008. I also drove for Orbit Racing last season with Peter serving as Team Manager.
“We’ve been working hard since July 2009 on creating this new venture and I do feel I bring more than just being ‘the driver’ to the team. I’ve been involved in many meetings with Peter over the past six months to get us some extra funding to make this all happen but he deserves the credit for bringing it all to life. Nobody works harder than him to put cars on the grid.
“I think it’s a huge accomplishment that he has created a two-car team for the 2010 season. With Bill Riley as my engineer and the BMW DINAN power, I know we will be faster than previous seasons.”
Q: You’re paired alongside Canada’s Mike Forest – how much do you know about him and his driving style compared to yours?
RD: “I know Mike from our days running together under the Champ Car World Series banner. In 2007, when he was in Atlantics, we became paddock friends and over 2009, the same thing. We had some discussions over winter and we realized that we could become teammates. Again, credit goes to Peter. He saw something in Mike and I as teammates that excited him and he worked on making the deal happen. We haven’t shared driving duties yet so I’m not too sure how our styles will compare but we both want to make this pairing a success so that’s all we need to be competitive!”
Q: Is it frustrating, given your track record, that you haven’t been offered one of the more ‘elite’ seats in the series?
RD: “Not really! Racing is all about relationships. I’m happy where I am for now and once I’ve added to my results to justify an elite seat I will get one. I’m confident in my abilities as a driver and I know with hard work and a couple of solid seasons under my belt, those opportunities will come my way.
“There are lots of deserving drivers that don’t have jobs for 2010 so I’m grateful with what I have. It frustrates me more seeing drivers in elite seats that really don’t deserve them over other drivers – but that’s racing!”
Q: What excites you most about the season ahead and the tracks on the schedule?
RD: “A few things excite me. I’m really looking forward to working with Bill Riley. Starworks has some exciting things we’re working on and hopefully they’ll come together soon and we can announce them prior to Daytona. As far as tracks go, I love Daytona. Montreal is probably one of the greatest venues anyone could want to race at. The addition of Lime Rock is going to be a challenge for all. I’m just excited to be competing for a full season again, it’s going to be great!”
The 2010 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Presented by Crown Royal Cask No.16 kicks off with the ‘Rolex 24 at Daytona’, hosted at Daytona International Speedway, Florida, Saturday 30th – Sunday 31st January 2010.
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