Continental Tire IMSA Spotlight: Ryan Dalziel
Driver: No. 2 Tequila Patron ESM Nissan Onroak DPi
How much did you enjoy returning being a part of Tequila Patron ESM’s full-time return to IMSA last season?
“It was great, not just coming back to IMSA full time with Patron ESM but being a part of this new generation of DPi with the NISSAN NISMO program was very cool.”
Did the season mesh with your expectations?
“I think we started really strong out the box at Daytona, with both cars running strongly and reliable. But post Daytona, we struggled until the last 1/3rd of the season.
“So I would say we started with a bang out the gate, then hit some major lows, most notably the big fire at COTA, then we rebounded and won two of the final three races. It was a roller coaster of a year.”
How much further along in terms of development is the Nissan Onroak DPi entering year two relative to where you started in 2017?
“Massively. Nobody not with the team and manufacturer realize how much development was going on behind the scenes from January 2017 until October.
“We made some massive electronics changes that gave us the reliability so that we could then focus on making the car faster, and not just making it last a race. Going into year two we are in a much better place. We have to be with the 2018 competition.”
What do you make of the level of competition in the Prototype class that will be on the grid in next season?
“Its amazing. The last time i remember this many cars was 2005/2006 seasons in Grand Am with the Daytona Prototypes. At the end of the day in every racing series the cream tends to rise to the top. We full intend to be the cherry on top of the cream, though.”
Is there a rule from another racing series, not limited to sports car racing, that you would like to see implemented in IMSA?
“Not really. I think some of the night time driving at Petit Le Mans was atrocious and seemingly went relatively unpunished. I think all that drivers ever want from a series is consistency for all. 2018 is a fresh start and we are ready for Daytona.”