Driver Spotlight: Ryan Dalziel
Driver, No. 1 Tequila Patron Extreme Speed Motorsports HPD ARX-03b
In your estimation, how close are the DP and P2 cars?
“After seeing things at the Roar, it’s very encouraging. I think everybody, us included, was pretty nervous after November/December and seeing the gap in times. It’s under a second now where it was over two seconds. The biggest challenge for us is figuring the car out with the Continental’s which we feel like we are getting a handle on. We’re just learning what the car needs and we’re getting closer every session.”
Now that the Roar is under our belt, how is the paddock feeling about the combined series?
“I think the most important thing was getting to 2014. Even through ’13, there was still a separation between everything and I think coming here now, and actually having a unified series, one person to answer to, one set of officials, one set of jackets with IMSA on it; I think just being here, everybody’s started fresh this year, us included. We came and you’re no longer an ALMS team competing in a new series you’re a Tudor United SportsCar team competing in the new series. I think everybody has definitely had a good attitude.”
How has the move to ESM been?
“Seamless. I’ve known a lot of the guys and worked with a lot of people in the past on the team. It has not been as difficult as I thought other than walking away from the relationships I had with Starworks. Great team, great owners and obviously a competitive package, so we’re encouraged. And we’re all still kind of getting to know each other a little bit. I know the engineer probably the best out of everybody. There’s a little bit of teething there, just in starting to understand each other again but I think that’s going to happen wherever you go, new surroundings take some time to get use to.”
What is your most memorable moment at Daytona?
“Winning in 2010. Although that’s my fondest, I think the one most people will remember me from was 2007. It was just my second year of sports car racing and I led the race until the last hour. I did a lot of battling at one point with Montoya and I think it was a lot of fun for me that year. Obviously winning it, as a one-off race with Action Express, was great but it’s one of those, ‘I wish I had won with Starworks but it just never happened.’”
You live in Florida. Do you drive home after the 24 Hour race?
“I generally do drive home right after the race whether it’s Daytona or Sebring and it’s usually the worst thing I could do. I have a 911 with some really good Continental sticky tires on it and generally the smartest thing for me to do is probably just wait until the next day because most of my speeding tickets are leaving Daytona and driving back to Orlando. It’s not hard to back off the speed after a normal sprint race but after 24 hours of doing it, you just don’t pay attention. You get on I-4 and you look down and you’re above the speed limit.”