Dalziel Leads World Challenge Sweepers
LEXINGTON, Ohio – Ryan Dalziel (GT), Michael Mills (GT-A) and Lawson Aschenbach (GTS) have completed a weekend sweep for Pirelli World Challenge at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, following a win in Sunday’s round 12, the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge Presented by StopTech.
Sunday’s 50-minute sprint race ran with two yellow flag interruptions but compared to Saturday’s rain-shortened event in mixed conditions, it was a welcome change of pace with a clear, sunny afternoon.
Dalziel launched cleanly from the pole position in the No. 31 EFFORT Racing Porsche GT3 R; he’d garnered the pole as a result of setting the fastest race lap in Saturday’s Round 11.
From the lead, he was able to complete a flag-to-flag victory over Mike Skeen in the No. 2 Hawk Performance Audi R8 Ultra. Skeen was within one to two seconds for most of the race and ultimately finished 1.547 seconds behind by the checkered flag.
Dalziel had won his first ever Pirelli World Challenge start at St. Petersburg 2013, only to have had his car be found out of compliance in post-race technical inspection. Then he won Saturday’s race after it was red-flagged, so this marked a far more straightforward and simple victory – ultimately his second of his career.
“Conditions wise I thought it was harder today. It was harder racing today,” Dalziel said. “Mike kept me on my toes the whole time. Definitely didn’t want that last restart. There was a lot of pickup on the tires. I think both of us (Skeen) almost went off on the first lap trying to push to get away.”
Skeen finished second, for his second podium of the weekend. Despite the near miss on Saturday, Skeen was able to gain points in the championship on Sunday.
Third and on the podium for the sixth time this season was Anthony Lazzaro, of Atlanta, Ga., in the No. 61 R. Ferri Motorsports Ferrari 458 Italia GT3. Lazzaro passed both Johnny O’Connell, of Flowery Branch, Ga., and Andrew Palmer, of Chicago, in one fell sweep on Lap 12 to move into his ultimate finishing position, in what was awarded the Invisible Glass Clean Pass of the Race.
Palmer, in the No. 21 GMG Racing Audi R8 Ultra finished fourth after a move of his own on O’Connell, on Lap 28. Points leader O’Connell, in the No. 3 Cadillac Racing Cadillac CTS-V.R, finished fifth.