Extreme Speed Motorsports began its 2014 season off in strong fashion, setting the fourth fastest prototype time at the opening day of the Roar Before the Rolex 24 test session.
Ryan Dalziel and Scott Sharp will form the full time driving partnership in the #1 Tequila Patron Honda Performance Development ARX-03b, with David Brabham joining the duo for the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona.
“It might be the first official day, but I’ve been lucky enough to be able to drive the car a couple of times now,” said Dalziel, after the first official test session of the new TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. “We have a little bit of work to do, but it was encouraging today. This is the closest we’ve been to the DP speeds. There’s some work to do on everyone’s part, but all in all, we’re in good shape. Unfortunately, so much at Daytona is top speed and that’s not going to be the strength of a P2 car.”
The ESM machine set the fourth fastest time in the session, which was also the fastest P2 machine of the day.
“The number one strength of the HPD is the reliability,” he continued. “It is usually pretty bulletproof. Endurance racing is what it was built for, but I think Daytona is not necessarily suited to a P2 just because of the straight-line speed. But the way the rules are going, it brings things a lot closer together. It is still early, if we go back to where we were in November and where we are now on January 3rd, they’ve made massive gains on IMSA’s package. We’re pretty confident that when we come back for the race, we’re where we need to be to contend for the win.”
Dalziel starts the new season with a new team, having left the Starworks Motorsports team he joined at its debut in 2010.
“This is a new beginning for me,” he concluded. “I’ve been with the same people for so many years and have been fortunate to have been in some great situations with Starworks. I think the first thing for me is just being excited about a new chapter in my career. I feel lucky to be with such a great team, have teammates like Scott, Ed and Johannes, and the support of the engineering staff and crew.”