Wishaw’s Ryan Dalziel hopes to get his American sportscar season off to a winning start this weekend when he tackles the Daytona 24-Hours in his Riley-Porsche Daytona Prototype.
The 27-year-old Scot, who finished second in America’s blue riband sportscar race three years ago, is looking forward to going one step further and winning the classic race.
“Being runner-up in 2007 I know what it takes to get to the podium,” Orlando-based Scot explained. “Had it not been for the last-minute glitches, I believe we would have won and I believe I can get on that top step this time.”
“I think Daytona is a unique endurance race. I’ve not had the pleasure of competing in the Le Mans 24-Hours but I’ve done all the North American ‘famed’ endurance races.
“There’s no doubt 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.”
Dalziel will lead the Action Express Racing team and will be partnered by Americans Terry Borcheller, Joao Barbosa and Mike Rockenfeller for the 24-hour race.
For the rest of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series, Dalziel will join the all-new Starworks Motorsport outfit where he will partner Canadian Mike Forest in their Riley-BMW Daytona Prototype.
“While I’m looking forward to Daytona, I also can’t wait until March and the second round of the Grand-Am season at Homestead where I’ll get behind the wheel of the Riley-BMW,” Dalziel continued.
“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 last year 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.
“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 power, I know we will be faster than previous seasons.”
Dalziel will start eighth on the Daytona grid after posting a best lap of 1min 41.603secsin qualifying on the 3.56-mile Florida course. The race gets underway tomorrow afternoon.