Ryan Dalziel finally secured his first Pirelli World Challenge win of 2015 in Round 14 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, driving the No. 31 EFFORT Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R.
It’s the Scotsman’s third in a row at Mid-Ohio after sweeping the weekend in 2014, and it’s also his first series win since that time last year.
“This has been one of my favorite track since I came to the United States,” Dalziel said. “It’s been a great track for EFFORT Racing with a double win last year here.
“We’ve struggled a little bit this year with our qualifying pace but we have had good race pace. We’ll have time to turn it around with fast lap today and double pole for the weekend.
“The place is packed with fans always at Mid-Ohio and I have just a great car from EFFORT Racing. I really couldn’t ask for much more.”
After qualifying on pole, Dalziel controlled the 50-minute race from flag-to-flag over the 32 laps, winning from James Davison in the No. 33 AE Nissan GT Academy Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 by 1.873 seconds.
Dalziel was realistically only threatened on two occasions. The first came as he and Davison were lapping through the GT Cup class leaders roughly halfway through the race, although all of the top four cars in class avoided impeding the leaders.
The second came on a restart for the final five laps, after an extended caution to retrieve two cars stopped on track (Andy Pilgrim’s Cadillac, Martin Fuentes’ Ferrari).
Davison finished second to record his fourth podium finish in a row, while points leader Olivier Beretta scored his second straight third place finish, and sixth podium of 2015 in the No. 61 R. Ferri Motorsport Ferrari 458 Italia GT3.
Johnny O’Connell and Michael Lewis completed the overall top-five.
Frankie Montecalvo made a final lap pass of Bryan Heitkotter to secure the GTA class victory in the No. 66 DragonSpeed Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3.
Montecalvo, who ended eighth overall, took his third straight victory following a move over the top of the crest.
The GT Cup presented by MOMO class battle was close throughout the race, with Alec Udell emerging victorious for the first time this season, and in his several-year career, in the No. 17 GMG Racing Porsche GT3 Cup.
Udell held off a race-long charge from championship leader Colin Thompson.
The only other incident of note during the race was a one-lap full course yellow after the initial standing start, as one of the Bentley Continental GT3s stalled off the line to trigger the immediate yellow flag. The race resumed a lap later.
Unofficially, Beretta leads Dalziel, 1235 to 1163, heading into Sunday’s second race of the weekend.
That race, Round 15 of the season, occurs Sunday at 11:50 a.m. ET.