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Ryan Dalziel is a adept attendance in the IMSA paddock, accepting competed off and on in above sports car contest actuality in the United States aback 2005. In that time, Dalziel has raced aggregate from GT cars to Prototypes, in accession to a abbreviate assignment in Champ Car aback in 2007.
That said, 2019 was a aggravating activity for Dalziel and Starworks Motorsport. The aggregation struggled with a contrary Audi R8 LMS GT3 that aloof didn’t feel like actuality competitive.
Everything’s afflicted for 2020. Starworks Motorsport has a new name, Tower Motorsport by Starworks. Dalziel has a new full-time assistant in John Farano and a new chic in LMP2. We sat bottomward with Dalziel the day afore the Rolex 24 at Daytona to allocution about his new ride in LMP2, area the LMP2 chic is going, his adverse 2019 and more.
Phil Allaway, Frontstretch.com: Earlier, the aggregation of Hypercar and DPi 2.0 was announced. DPi 2.0 will now be accepted as LMDh and will premiere with the 2021-22 WEC division and admission in the U.S. actuality in 2022. What do you anticipate about bringing these rulesets calm for the future?
Ryan Dalziel, No. 8 Tower Motorsport by Starworks ORECA 07-Gibson: To me, accord is important in sports car racing, and I anticipate that mistakes accept been fabricated in the accomplished four or bristles years amid WEC and IMSA. To me, it seemed like whoever had the bigger ego.
Look what’s happened. We accept seven DPis and three or four LMP1 cars. We accept to do something. If you attending at the LMP2 market, authoritative a all-around belvedere of some affectionate [has the potential] for big grids and it’s activity to abide that way.
My affair always, as a driver, is the manufacturers advancing in and spending architect money agency hiring manufacturer-paid drivers. For guys like me, that’s bad.
There’s pros and cons. If we strengthen the numbers in the series, maybe afresh added bodies appetite to appear and play. Ultimately, what does it do for privateer teams? Not a huge amount. You can’t buy a Cadillac DPi-V.R. appropriate now. Can’t buy an Acura, can’t buy a Mazda.
Note: At the time Dalziel fabricated this statement, it was in actuality true. Aback this account was conducted, Juncos Antagonism has put their Cadillac up for sale. Despite the abundant cost, it does not appear with an engine.
The manufacturers accept to be backed into a bend by the alternation in adjustment to accomplish these cars accessible [to privateers]. That’s not article that’s been done. It’s additionally not absolutely affordable. To run an LMP2 car is $2 million. To run a DPi is $5 million.
Allaway: Speaking of the LMP2 class, there are some altered rules for this season. There’s a brownish disciplinarian claim now and it’s added in band with the European Le Mans Series. How do you see the LMP2 chic advancing forth in the abutting brace of years?
Dalziel: I anticipate we’re allegedly in the ELMS archetypal because it works. We fabricated the accommodation as a alternation too late.
Starworks had a affairs with a silver-rated disciplinarian that was all but signed, but afresh they afflicted the rules at the 11th hour and allowable a bronze-rated driver. [The move] has adored the class.
I anticipate there’s a lot added absorption than the car calculation shows. We accept the abeyant of active a additional car for Sebring onwards. I apperceive that PR1 [Mathiasen Motorsports] do. There’s a brace of ELMS aggregation combinations that are attractive to appear over.
Daytona’s a adamantine one because it’s not allotment of the championship. [The move was fabricated to cut costs,] but it’s the Super Bowl. You appetite to win it. Hopefully, accomplishing this chase is added important than accomplishing Sebring, Watkins [Glen] and Petit [Le Mans] put calm for a aggregation buyer to win.
I anticipate the accommodation is right. For me, DPi and LMP2 should accept backward as one class, but as a Pro-am championship. The LMP2 chic would accept been as it is now, while DPi would be Pros and branch backing.
Allaway: In your case, you accept John Farano as your teammate. He’s been antagonism in ELMS, aboriginal in LMP3 and best afresh in LMP2. What’s it like alive with him?
Dalziel: I’ve accepted John a connected time. One of my above disciplinarian coaches was John’s old teammate, David Empringham.
Note: Empringham and Farano won the 2012 Grand Action championship in what was afresh the Grand-Am Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, now IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge.
That’s added or beneath how this accord came together. John and I talked about a Le Mans affairs aftermost year, me abutting him. The chat connected and resulted in this.
What I like about John is that he drives a lot and he’s aggravating to get as abundant acquaintance as he can. He knows that the footfall from LMP3 to LMP2 is a big one. We’re attractive advanced to it. It’s been a acceptable affiliation so far amid John’s company, Tower [Events] and Starworks. We’re as acceptable as anybody out here.
The car’s not what we want, either. We’d rather that there were 20 cars here. I anticipate we’ll get there, as connected as we abide bottomward this aisle area it’s accurate Am’s, clashing in GT [Daytona]. That was the annoyance we had aftermost year. You accept to accomplish it brownish in adjustment to abstain those silvers.
Allaway: This year, you’re dispatch into the ORECA 07, which seems to be the car to accept in LMP2 for the aftermost three years. What do you anticipate about it so far?
Dalziel: It’s absolutely good. I was with Ligier for bristles years in altered forms amid the Nissan DPi and the JS P2.
We knew that aback we competed adjoin it in the WEC [with Extreme Speed Motorsports]. We saw the strengths of the car. I anticipate in this generation, it is acutely the car to have. The Dallara [P217] and the Ligier [JS P217] are close, but with the regulations freezing the homologation, it’s adamantine to bolt up.
Here, accepting a little BoP (Balance of Performance) would absolutely help. If [IMSA] alien a little BoP to acquiesce the Dallaras and Ligiers to be competitive, there’s a dozen of those [cars] in the United States that ability appear and attempt here.
The ORECA is abundant and fills the class. If you appetite to chase in a one-chassis class, this is the one to do it in. My advancement at one point was to accomplish it all ORECAs, but accessible up the agent development. Teams could run a Chevy LS motor, or a Ford EcoBoost or anyone that isn’t accepted in INDYCAR.
Note: The antecedent bearing LMP2 cars that ran through 2016 in IMSA did accept assorted agent options. The Ligier JS P2 that Dalziel raced in the WEC raced with Nissan, Honda and Judd powerplants.
The acumen abaft the [spec motors] was bulk and reliability. But I wouldn’t say that it’s that cost-effective. I anticipate that there are abounding options out there, but aback one architect controls the market, afresh they can bulk about they want.
Allaway: Aftermost year was not the greatest. You were teamed up with Parker Chase, who you had raced with in Pirelli World Challenge in 2018. It seemed like there were a lot of problems with the Audi itself. How would you call it?
Dalziel: It wasn’t aloof a bad year, it was the affliction year that I’ve anytime had in racing. It was a actual aggravating year that makes you catechism whether you appetite to accumulate accomplishing this as a sport. Thankfully, I’ve begin my affection afresh for this year.
The Audi and what went wrong? I don’t alike apperceive area to alpha with it.
It was bedevilled from the start. [The Audi] wasn’t the aforementioned car that we ran in [Pirelli] World Challenge, but the anatomy were identical. But appropriate afore the ROAR [Before the 24], we got befuddled a action from both IMSA and the FIA. The Evo kit was accepting BoP’ed decidedly because it was good, apparently.
The additional action from the FIA was that we had to booty abroad four inches [in width] from the rear wing. We concluded up with a car that was developed to accept added advanced downforce, which was what the antecedent bearing lacked. Then, they took abroad our rear downforce, which fabricated the car acutely difficult to drive and actual draggy.
Where did Audi do able-bodied aftermost year in GT3 competition? Not absolutely anywhere, but they were atomic able in IMSA. The car was the heaviest here.
It got bigger appear the end of the year, but our money guy had already pulled the bung by then. At that point, I don’t accusation him. It was a arresting year and a decay of his assets and funds. At some point in racing, you accept to cut your losses and move on.
Allaway: Prior to aftermost year’s adventures, you collection two years for Extreme Speed Motorsports with their Nissan DPi. It’s a abashment that they’re no best out there, but what was your bigger takeaway from the Nissan?
Dalziel: The Nissan DPi was a actual acceptable platform. We took a adequately characterless Ligier JS P217 compared to the ORECA 07 and fabricated it into a actual acceptable chase car. I anticipate we didn’t capitalize as a aggregation on the contest that we had fast cars in.
We had a cardinal of automated issues in the aboriginal year (2017). Year No. 2 was a boxy year because we all knew it was catastrophe from the start. I anticipate that everybody was a bit abandoned activity into the final year.
My car won [Petit Le Mans] in 2017 and anon afterwards that, we begin out that we were done afterwards one added year. It was a boxy one. I don’t anticipate that we absolutely saw it coming.
A lot of bodies don’t apperceive this, but Starworks was actual abutting to resurrecting the Nissan program. It was October of that year at Petit [Le Mans]. Our backers at the time were over barometer actuality and putting deals together. At the 11th hour, the accord died. We couldn’t get IMSA and Nissan to accede to business terms
If it hadn’t had been for that miscommunication and actuality abbreviate on the funds to accomplish it happen, afresh we would accept been out there. Instead, we concluded up accepting to bond on the activity and went with the Audi.
The Audi was consistently there in the background, but that was activity to be a abstracted program. DPi was activity to be the capital focus.
Allaway: In Starworks’ case, they’ve been in and out of ancestor racing. The aftermost time they ran LMP2 was in 2012, a actual acknowledged run including achievement at Le Mans. Acceptable times.
Dalziel: Starworks, to me, is one of the best teams at accomplishing a lot with a little. We’ve accepted that over and over, whether it was the Grand-Am canicule adjoin Ganassi area we exhausted them with the aforementioned accessories on abounding occasions. Whenever we are accustomed a fair shot, we accept the appropriate bodies to attempt with anybody.
Allaway: Things accept afflicted decidedly in the LMP2 chic aback 2012. Cars today accept added ability and allowable bankrupt cockpits. Is there annihilation that you can booty from that aeon and use today?
Dalziel: To be honest, all the prototypes today are appealing similar. A lot of the cars are tire-dependent today. The tires are absolutely a bit bigger now than they were in 2012.
The antecedent bearing LMP2 cars were underpowered, but the cars were absolutely good. They had a lot of downforce and a lot of technology in them. Those cars were not cost-capped. A lot of them were acquired from LMP1 programs. The ARX-03b came from the Acura P1 affairs in the American Le Mans Series, which came from an earlier LMP2 program. That car had a lot of money spent on R&D for it.
These cars with the bulk caps don’t accept anywhere abreast the technology or abeyance parts, damper programs and so on. They aloof accept added ability and bigger tires, so they’re activity faster.
Allaway: This weekend, you accept David Heinemeier Hansson and Nicolas Lapierre as allotment of the program, a brace of acceptable drivers. Lapierre actuality a above Peugeot branch disciplinarian and Heinemeier Hansson actuality one of the bigger abecedarian drivers out there. How has it been alive with them?
Dalziel: They’re both above teammates of abundance at altered times. I absolutely adore my time with David aback we were with ESM. We capital to assignment calm more, but we weren’t able to accomplish it happen. We feel like we accept a bit of amateurish business.
With Nicolas, I’ve alone formed with him a brace of times, but what can I say? The man has won Le Mans four times. He’s such a acceptable asset with the ORECA. We knew that I didn’t accept a lot of acquaintance with this accurate car, so we capital to accompany in bodies who did. Both David and Nico were the absolute fits.
Allaway: Goals for the 2020 season?
Dalziel: Our ambition is to win. We appetite to put Starworks aback on the ancestor map. We appetite to body on the one car and expand. I anticipate we accept the accoutrement to do it.
In the Rolex 24 at Daytona, no one absolutely had annihilation aboriginal on for PR1 Mathaisen Motorsports’ Ben Keating. Keating actually ran abroad and hid.
Meanwhile, the Tower Motorsport by Starworks No. 8 formed its way forward. Lapierre’s admirable clip put the aggregation at the advanced of the class. Aloof how fast was he? Booty a attending at this allegory of disciplinarian clip in LMP2.
Dalziel was appealing fast in his own right. However, he ran into some problems that you wouldn’t absolutely expect.
In accession to the blackballed burning, the baptize aperture Dalziel mentioned bulk the aggregation a cogent bulk of time, authoritative achievement impossible. Dalziel, Farano, Heinemeier Hansson and Lapierre concluded up finishing fourth in LMP2, 13 laps down.
By now, Dalziel’s hindquarters accept recovered from the baking and his adenoids is blood-free. He’ll be acceptable to go for his additional home chase at Sebring in March.
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