Monday, Dec 22, 2014
Local Sports

Extreme Speed at Brickyard

Special to Highlands Today
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Ryan Dalziel returns to Indianapolis Motor Speedway with a new team and new type of car, racing in a new series on a new course layout.

But he has the same goal as last year – winning the Brickyard Grand Prix.

“Kissing the bricks is a lot nicer tasting than you might think,” said Dalziel, who won the 2013 race with Starworks Motorsport in a BMW-powered Daytona Prototype co-driven by Alex Popow. “Hopefully we will get the Tequila Patrón cars up front and kiss the bricks again.”

Dalziel now drives an LM P2 Prototype in the premier class of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, sharing the Extreme Speed Motorsports No. 1 Tequila Patrón HPD ARX-03b/Honda with Scott Sharp.

“It’s a different layout, different car, different competition this year,” Dalziel said. “For sure, the past couple of years I raced there with Starworks in GRAND-AM and we always had a competitive package.”

While he has plenty of DP experience on the former 2.534-mile layout, Dalziel recently tested with ESM on the new 2.435-mile configuration.

“We had a great test at Indianapolis with ESM, and we feel we’ll have a good car there,” he said. “The new layout is very different, and the improvements are all good.”

Dalziel and Sharp are currently seventh in the Prototype standings.

Their best finish this year was a close second in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida, and they took fifth at Detroit Belle Isle.

Their teammates – Ed Brown and Johannes van Overbeek – are sixth in the points, winning at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in the No. 2 Tequila Patrón HPD ARX-03b/Honda.

While he’s raced at Indianapolis in a DP, Dalziel’s LM P2 experience includes winning the FIA World Endurance Championship in the LM P2 class for Starworks in 2012, including class victories in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Sebring and Brazil.

Now, he’s looking forward to repeating last year’s result, despite of all the changes at the Brickyard.

“Indianapolis is one of the biggest tracks in the world, like Daytona and Sebring,” Dalziel said. “You look forward to coming here and driving under the tunnel. It’s always breath-taking, seeing how impressive this place is.”

The TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Brickyard Grand Prix is set for 5:30 p.m. Friday and will be televised on Fox Sports 1.

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