Ryan Dalziel joins CORE for Long Beach
- 04 April 2012
This event marks the tenth anniversary of Dalziel’s U.S. racing debut in the U.S. – his first was at Long Beach in 2002, driving a Toyota Atlantic Championship machine.
Dalziel will be paired in the Le Mans Prototype Challenge (LMPC) class #06 Soloson Import ORECA FLM09 with lead driver and Sebring winner, Alex Popow. Dalziel and Popow are teammates in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Starworks Daytona Prototype team, and have co-driven with that team and others throughout the U.S. and the Middle East since they were first paired in early 2011.
Most recently in the ALMS, Dalziel and Popow each scored respective class victories at the 60th Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida – Dalziel in the WEC LMP2 class and Popow in the CORE #06 LMPC machine.
Dalziel’s experience with CORE autosport goes back to its debut in 2011, as a driver coach to Bennett and as a co-driver of the #05 at two events - the 2011 Sebring race, the team’s first-ever event, in which they finished second in class; and the season-ending Petit Le Mans, where the #05 got a fifth-place LMPC finish after a very late-race altercation.
Long Beach is a favorite for Dalziel, and over the past decade he has driven a variety of cars on the 11-turn 1.968-mile temporary street circuit including Toyota Atlantics, GRAND-AM prototypes, ALMS GT machines and Champ Cars. Most notably, in 2004, Dalziel won the pole position and led every lap to victory in Toyota Atlantic competition.
Originally from Scotland and now residing in Orlando, Fla., Dalziel is one of his country’s leading professional racing drivers with a track record of success in the highest levels of both open-wheel racing and sports car competition in North America and Europe. He celebrates his heritage with his racing gear, proudly wearing the St Andrew’s flag on all his overalls and race cars, as well as wearing a tartan design-oriented helmet.
CORE autosport, which won the 2012 Sebring 12 Hour event in the LMPC class as well as the 2011 driver and team ALMS LMPC championships, continues to expand its operations and has recently moved into an all-new, purpose-built 30,000 square-foot facility.
The 2012 Tequila Patrón American Le Mans Series at Long Beach will take place on Saturday, April 14 at the temporary street course in Long Beach, Calif. The race will be broadcast live at 4:30 p.m. PT / 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2 and on-line at ESPN3.
RYAN DALZIEL: “I’m really excited to be back with CORE autosport. Everyone knows that I had a good relationship with the team last year and we were working hard to find a way to work together in 2012. Due to my other commitments [World Endurance Championship] we couldn’t make it work full-time, but I’m really happy to be working with the team in Long Beach, one of my favorite venues.
“Long Beach was my first race ever in the U.S. and when I saw it for the first time I knew it was the Monoco of the U.S. It really opened up my eyes as to how great U.S. racing can be with the combination of venue, course layout and fans, and really bolstered my decision to keep racing in the U.S. I’ve made sure to return to Long Beach whether I was driving or not.
“I have worked with Alex for a long time and it’s always good to be driving with him, especially with a team that is as professional as CORE autosport. My goal is to help Alex learn the ‘tricks’ of Long Beach, which is challenging because it’s quite fast for a street circuit, while helping him gain points and win the championship.”
ALEX POPOW: "Ryan and I go back awhile and have been co-drivers in three races this year alone – the 24 hour race in Dubai, 12 hour race in Abu Dhabi and the Daytona 24 hours. We had some good results, including the pole position and a second place finish in Daytona. I know Ryan is a good, fast and safe driver.
“Having Ryan as my co-driver gives me confidence, as I have never raced on the streets of Long Beach before. I know he knows the track really well, definitely knows the car and he has a great relationship with CORE autosport – all good things for success.
“With Ryan’s speed and the tips he can give me to be fast and smart on the track, we have a very good shot to stay out of trouble and win the race.”