Ryan aims to be man of Atlanta
- 29 September 2011
THE PLOT: Ryan Dalziel aims to complete a memorable hat-trick with Petit Le Mans glory this weekend. The Lanarkshire-born star won the final Grand-Am race of the season with a super show at Mid-Ohio and helped CORE Autosport to a podium in the American Le Mans Series opener at Sebring in Florida.
Now the Orlando-based star wants to be a night rider by leading CORE to an LMPC win in the 10-hour classic Petit Le Mans showdown. Forget KITT and the Hoff in the cult TV series, 28-year-old Ryan reckons he has the kit to do the job in the 14th annual Petit Le Mans powered by
Mazda. He will team up with CORE team founder Jon Bennett and rising star Frankie Montecalvo.
Ryan has competed in the prestigious event twice before, but has yet to see the finish flag. He intends to put that right this weekend…
THE QUOTES: “It is right up there with Sebring, Daytona and Le Mans as one of the world’s most famous endurance races. CORE have done an excellent job this season – they have multiple podiums and a couple of race wins, so hopefully I can get them their first Petit Le Mans. I just want to help them end the season on a high.
“I know what to expect – it is a very fast pace. It is a 10-hour sprint and, as it goes into the night, it gets very dark, so there are a lot of challenges. I am very excited. The two previous times I have done it, we have not really had a strong campaign, but this car is good.
“We saw what the team was capable of at Sebring - we were only just short of a victory there, so I know we will be contenders in Atlanta. It is always a great event to go to and I haven’t seen the finish yet, so I am really looking forward to seeing the chequered flag.
“We will be one of the faster cars on track. We will be the second-fastest class out there. There may be 10 faster cars from the LMP1 class. We should be faster than the rest so we should spend most of our time looking forward. But you have to be aware of what is happening behind you because that is generally what ends races.
“We would expect either to be passed, or to pass, up to a dozen times a lap. There are lots of things that can go wrong, especially in the dark. When it gets dark, it gets very dark. The minute the sun goes down the whole track changes. There is a lot of elevation so when the sun goes down there are a lot of shadows. But it is going to be a good race and I expect us to be very strong.”
THE FACTS: Ryan has competed in two Petit Le Mans races. In 2005, he was with Corvette, then last year he was in the Jaguar RSR entry.
Ryan has had four Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series podiums in 2011 – a win at Mid-Ohio and third at Barber, Lime Rock and Watkins Glen. He has also had three fourth-place finishes.
Ryan’s previous win was the 2010 Rolex 24 At Daytona.
Catch all the Petit Le Mans action, with qualifying on ESPN3 at 2.35pm ET on September 30, then see the race on ESPN3 at 11.15am ET and ABC at 2.35pm on October 1.
Find out more from www.ryandalziel.com