Despite having led the GT drivers’ standings for a while in the 2015 Pirelli World Challenge season, Ryan Dalziel was unable to take the championship at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, instead settling for third place overall.
However, EFFORT Racing still finished the season as GT team championship winers, by 155 points over Cadillac Racing. This is as a result of three wins, ten podiums and 20 top five finishes from Dalziel, Michael Lewis and substitute driver Renger van der Zande.
Finishing 100 points behind Johnny O’Connell‘s grand total of 1679, Dalziel had an impressive season, especially considering the Scotsman missed three races due to clashing FIA World Endurance Championship commitments.
At Laguna Seca on Sunday, he dropped from third to fourth position at the start but stayed close to leaders, battling within the top five for the entire race and finishing where he started.
“It was kind of the race week we expected,” he said. “We knew we didn’t have the pace of the Ferraris. I don’t think we expected the pace of the Cadillacs. We did the best we could with the tools we had today. I’m proud of the whole team for such a great season.
“We missed three races and still managed to finish 3rd in the championship. We were still in contention until the past couple laps. Hopefully we can come back next year with the new cars.
Meanwhile, Michael Lewis started in 8th and finished his final race of the season in fifth, earning him ninth in the championship standings. However, he was also top rookie, in a season which saw the Californian graduate from GTA to GT.
“A top 5 finish:” commented Lewis. “That’s what we strived to get after yesterday’s qualifying and that’s what we did. There was a lot of chaos with this being the last race of the championship. The main players were all going hard. I was told by my engineer and my team to just be calm and let others make the mistakes. That’s exactly what happened, and I finished 5th with cars flying off everywhere. I made a few good passes on the start, and even caught up to my teammate Ryan and helped him in his battle against the Cadillac in the remaining laps.”