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Aug 10, 2014 - 06:40 AM
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Dalziel Steals TUDOR Championship Pole On Final Lap At Road America
Posted by: newsla on Aug 10, 2014 - 06:39 AM
USCR News
Dalziel Steals TUDOR Championship Pole On Final Lap At Road America


If qualifying times are an indication, Sunday’s TUDOR United SportsCar Championship race at Road America is guaranteed to continue a trend of breath-taking finishes at the 4.048-mile road course.

 

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Ryan Dalziel’s final qualifying lap of 1 minute, 55.166 seconds (126.537 mph) sent him to the top of the speed chart for the Prototype (P) class and secured the TOTAL Pole Award for the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase.

“The track changed over the last couple of sessions,” said Dalziel, shortly after winning the second consecutive pole position for himself, co-driver Scott Sharp and their No. 1 Extreme Speed Motorsports HPD ARX-03b/Honda. “We went back to how (the car) first rolled off the truck.”

Dalziel shared his last lap heroics that wrested the pole away from the visitflorida.com Racing Corvette DP of Richard Westbrook.

“There were some places I did things on that last lap that I don’t want to do again,” he said. “I’m glad the car is in one piece.”

Westbrook posted a best time of 1:55.487 (126.187 mph), good enough for second. The car, however, failed the stall test during post-qualifying technical inspection and had its time excluded. That moved the Prototype points-leading duo of Christian Fittipaldi and Joao Barbosa to second in the No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP.

Sunday’s 2-hour, 45-minute race is scheduled to begin at 1:15 p.m. CT.

Road America has made somewhat of a habit of hosting close sports car races. Prior to the 2014 merger of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón and GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series, the overall margin of victory for the last nine ALMS races at Road America averaged about one second. That scant margin comes in spite of Road America’s lap length and the duration of the races, which have ranged from 2 hours, 45 minutes to four hours.

The smallest overall winning margin – and the closest finish in ALMS history – was .083 seconds, registered by Guy Smith in 2012. The closest overall margin of victory at Road America for a GRAND-AM series race occurred in 2001, when drivers Didier Theys, Mauro Baldi and Fredy Linehard won by 1.602 seconds.

Sunday’s race is likely to follow suit. The top cars in each class were separated by a second or less.

John Edwards’ time of 2:03.747 (117.763 mph) on his penultimate lap of qualifying was enough to earn the pole position in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class. It also was Edwards’ second pole of the weekend as he started Saturday’s Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race from the top spot.

“It was a fun session,” said Edwards, who co-drives the No. 56 BMW Team RLL BMW Z4 GTE with Dirk Mueller, and was puzzled by the increase in speeds. “There was a lot more grip. We gained 1.8 seconds from the last practice. I’m still baffled by how everyone gained that much time.”

In the Prototype Challenge (PC) class, Bruno Junqueira, no stranger to success at Road America, was the fastest qualifier and earned his third pole position of the season.

Junqueira turned a best lap of 1:59.411 (122.039 mph) in the No. 09 RSR Racing ORECA FLM09 he shares with Duncan Ende.

It was the third pole of the season for Junquiera, who has pole position and race wins in both IndyCar and the ALMS on his Road America resume.

“I love Road America, it’s my favorite track,” he said. “You need to believe in yourself and that your cars can make the corners at high speeds. You need to always be on the limit.”

James Davison wasted no time in putting his No. 007 TRG-AMR Aston Martin V12 Vantage on the pole position for the GT Daytona (GTD) class.

Davison recorded a lap of 2:09.079 on his very first lap and let his competitors play catch-up.

“There was a bit of a recipe for it,” said Davison, who co-drives with Al Carter and secured his first pole of the season. “We waited in pit lane for about half-a-lap, got a clean track and built up the temperatures to capitalize on peak tires on lap 1.

Davison’s fast lap occurred in overcast conditions and on fresh tires, two factors the rest of his pursuers didn’t enjoy as the sunshine returned and peak tire conditions lessened.

“People didn’t have the conditions or the tires (to catch us),” he said.


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