Wishaw racing ace Ryan Dalziel will ditch the sun of his adopted home of Orlando in Florida to pilot the Rangers car in the inaugural Superleague Formula season, which roars into action at Donington Park next month.
The 26-year-old, who has forged a highly impressive racing career in America driving in the Toyota Atlantic Championship, Champ Cars and most recently Grand-Am, admitted he’s excited to be returning to Europe.
“This will be the first time I’ll have contested a full European-based season since I competed in the British Formula Three Championship in 2001,” Dalziel explained today from his US home from where he will commute to the European races.
“It’s going to be funny racing again in Europe, but it’s fantastic for me as a Scot, and as a longtime Rangers supporter, to be driving the Rangers car in the new Superleague Formula.
“I drove the car for the first time last week and I know they’re very quick and very powerful so I know we’re going to have some fantastic racing. I also know I’ve got a terrific team behind me and I’m confident we can be competitive and push for race wins right from the start.”
Dalziel, whose race helmet’s colours are almost identical to those of Rangers, will again test his 750bhp V12-powered car in two pre-season tests at Donington on August 21 and 28, ahead of the first round of the season on August 30-31.
The six-round Superleague season, which is set to run from August to November 2008, also includes cars backed by the likes of AC Milan, PSV Eindhoven, FC Porto, Olympiacos and Tottenham Hotspur.
“I felt it was important for me to be involved with Superleague right from the start because I know it has the potential to be huge,” Dalziel, who will also race the Rangers car in Germany, Portugal, Spain, Belgium and Italy, continued.
“I’m excited to be a Scottish driver racing for a Scottish club. It means a lot and I hope the fans really get behind our efforts.
“There’s no doubt this championship has the potential to be a real headline grabber and I’ll be doing everything I can to make sure Rangers finish top of the league.”