There will be a pair of new full-season drivers at the wheel of the VisitFlorida.com Racing Corvette DP next year, with Ryan Dalziel and Marc Goossens having been confirmed with the Spirit of Daytona squad in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Dalziel and Goossens replace Richard Westbrook and Michael Valiante, who combined for two wins and runner-up status in the Prototype class championship this year. As revealed by Sportscar365, the two departed from the team last month.
Both drivers bring a wealth of prototype experience to the Troy Flis-led squad, with Dalziel having more than 120 starts across GRAND-AM, ALMS and IMSA competition and former SRT factory driver Goossens previously enjoying success in DP competition as well.
“We have worked to build this team from season to season and I’m very excited about having Marc and Ryan with us next year in the Visit Florida car,” Flis said. “They’ve worked together before, are very fast, and I think will help us take this program further and into the future as we look ahead.
“I’m proud of what we accomplished last season, but we have our sights set on being stronger next year. While it is a big change for us to have an all-new driver line-up, we are keeping nearly everything the same on this side of the wall so that kind of consistency will help us as a team from a performance point of view.”
Dalziel will continue his duties with Tequila Patron ESM in the FIA World Endurance Championship in 2016, while adding a near-full season slate of WeatherTech Championship races to his plate as well.
The only conflicting race weekend is April 15-17, when WEC is in Silverstone and the WeatherTech Championship is at Long Beach. Additionally, the Le Mans Test Day occurs on the same weekend as the Detroit round.
“I live in Florida, so I’m obviously thrilled to be racing for Visit Florida.com Racing,” said Dalziel. “I’ve known Troy for a long time and have seen first-hand how his team has stepped up every year and built on the season before.
“I’d like to thank Scott Sharp and Ed Brown for giving me the green light to pursue an IMSA WeatherTech Championship run with Visit Florida.com, in addition to my full season WEC campaign with Patron ESM.
“It is going to be a busy year for me, but I wouldn’t have it any other way and I can’t wait to get going at the test later this month.”
The pairing previously worked together at SRT in 2013 when Dalziel was an endurance driver in the factory Dodge Viper GTS-Rs.
“This is very exciting to me to be not only returning to Prototypes, but to be doing so with a team that has so much momentum like Visit Florida.com Racing,” Goossens said.
“Troy has clearly been putting things in place, building the organization and it has shown very clearly with what they have been able to accomplish. Ryan and I have worked very well together and hopefully we can continue to bring even more success to Visit Florida.”
Dalziel, Goossens and the SDR team will take part in the two-day IMSA-sanctioned test at Daytona on Nov. 17-18, with the team’s full endurance driver lineup still to be announced.