Starworks Motorsport driver Ryan Dalziel – a Rolex 24 winner last year – left it until the final hour of the eighth and final session of the Grand-Am Series' 'Roar Before The 24' test to run the fastest lap of the three day event.
Scot Dalziel's lap of 1:39.973 smashed – unofficially – the lap record for the road course, and was the only man to dip under 100 seconds during the weekend test session for the Rolex 24 at Daytona (January 29-30).
“We are contenders, and we’ve proven that this weekend,” Dalziel said. “We do the best we can with what we’ve got. I think we could have gone faster. I didn’t put together a perfect lap, and we didn’t have a qualifying setup on the car. We know we’ve got more.”
Dalziel shares the Ford-Riley Daytona Prototype with Canadian Mike Forest, Colin Braun, Tomas Enge and Jim Lowe.
“Having the fastest time in the test pretty exciting,” said Starwork Motorsport principal Peter Baron. “We’ve put in a lot of hard work since last fall, and Ryan’s a phenomenal driver, and you can say enough about Bill Riley’s engineering. Our car came off the trailer awesome, and got even better.”
The final day of testing saw many of the fastest times. 2010 series champion Scott Pruett had claimed the fastest time for himself in the no.1 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates car – also beating the track record – but they like many other teams chose to end their testing early, sitting out the final session.
Both Dalziel and Pruett topped sessions before the final day, marking they and their teams out as potential front runners when the series reconvenes for its season opener at the end of the month.
The final day also saw the fastest time in the GT class, though that came in the day's earlier session courtesy of Brumos Racing's Leh Keen on a simulated qualifying run.
“We’ve been working hard for the past three days and really have everything together,” Keen explained. “We had kind of a qualifying run there and track conditions were just right. I just nailed a lap. I felt really good. I’m really happy to be part of this Brumos crew. They really have their act together and squeeze every bit of speed out of these Porsches. I’m happy for this year, driving with Andrew Davis. I’m happy to be driving with Hurley Haywood and Marc Lieb in the Rolex 24 – they’re two pretty big names in the Porsche world.”