Taking advantage of an off-weekend for Prototype class competitors, Ryan Dalziel will make his return to the wheel of a Starworks Motorsport entry in Kansas.
The 32-year-old Scot, who joined Extreme Speed Motorsports for the 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season, will again team up with the Peter Baron-led Starworks squad for this weekend’s Prototype Challenge-only round at Kansas Speedway.
Dalziel will team with Martin Fuentes in the No. 7 Oreca FLM09, filling in for regular-season pilot and newly signed Virgin Formula E driver Sam Bird, who is competing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
“It’s cool and obviously an easy transition for me, to slip back in there after being with Starworks for so many years,” Dalziel told Sportscar365. “We originally thought about it at the start of the year when he was still trying to figure out who the full-time drivers were going to be.
“But Sam has some conflicts in Europe with Le Mans and his Formula E program. I’m happy to fill in. It’s always comforting to know you’re getting in a race-winning car.”
Starworks is fresh off victory in last month’s Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca with its No. 8 Martini-liveried entry of Renger van der Zande and Mirco Schultis.
“Naturally we were disappointed to learn of Sam’s conflict, but wish him all the best in his maiden voyage to Le Mans,” team owner Baron said. “Filling in for him worked out quite conveniently with Ryan available and we would like to thank the Extreme Speed Motorsports crew for lending him out for this race.
“It is a natural fit for Ryan to come over; he’s driven with Martin before, obviously knows our program well and knows the Kansas track, so it’s a great fit.”
This weekend’s Kansas Grand Prix will mark Dalziel’s second trip to the high-speed oval/road course but first in a PC car, and first for all TUDOR Championship competitors under a dual 45-minute sprint race format alongside cars from the Cooper Tire Prototype Lites Championship.
“We’re looking for good things,” Dalziel said. “Kansas was good to us last year until we crashed. But we’re looking forward to a good car. “It’s an interesting format and will be strange how it all works out with the PC cars and the Lites cars in 45-minute sprint races rather than doing driver changes.
“I’m definitely looking forward to going back to some sprint racing.”
Eleven PC cars are currently entered for the round, which takes place on Saturday.