Paul Dalla Lana will not mount full-season TUDOR United SportsCar Championship or Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge programs as originally planned, having elected to focus his driving efforts in the FIA World Endurance Championship this year.
The 2011 CTSC champion, who finished second in class in last weekend’s FIA WEC season-opening Six Hours of Silverstone, confirmed plans to mount a championship attack with Aston Martin Racing in the GTE-Am class, while likely only returning to Turner Motorsport’s BMW Z4 GT3 program for the remaining two Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup races.
“I think for me, I’ll probably be limited to the endurance part of the championship,” he told Sportscar365 last weekend at Silverstone. ‘That will leave Watkins Glen and Petit at the end of the year. The car’s going to run for the full year. So Dane [Cameron] and it looks like Markus Palttala will be contesting the championship.
“For me, it was a little bit of a focus question and in truth also some frustration with the rules package and just the approach with dealing with BoP and getting some of the finer things right. So I think it’s a good year to let that sort itself out.
“I’m sure they’ll get there and it’s a big undertaking. But for me, with time being so precious and not wanting to come to race weekends with huge uncertainty of how it’s going to work out, I rather just concentrate on a series this year that’s a little bit more established and letting the plans for 2015 play out.”
Dalla Lana will not contest the full CTSC season for the first time since 2009, instead focusing nearly 100 percent of his driving efforts with AMR in the FIA WEC.
The Canadian businessman competed in a handful of events last year in GTE-Pro but has now moved to GTE-Am, which has seen a noticeable increase in competition over previous years.
“That’s probably what drew me back,” Dalla Lana said. “Of course, I think there’s such an interesting mix of driver abilities and relative pace. It should be a really neat championship for that category and it will be tough to get out of our own garage, actually.
“The sister car is going to be really strong and there’s a number of other great lineups out there. I think we’ve got a good car. We showed it last year. And I guess I’ve got the advantage of having driven the same configuration car for a year. Hopefully that will translate into something.”
Dalla Lana and co-drivers Pedro Lamy and Christoffer Nygaard head into next weekend’s Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps second in the GTE-Am standings, following victory by its sister No. 95 entry at Silverstone.