Dalziel Leads ESM Qualifying Sweep
INDIANAPOLIS – On “National Tequila Day,” the Tequila Patrón-sponsored team had the most reason to celebrate at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Ryan Dalziel and Johannes van Overbeek, driving the Extreme Speed Motorsports cars emblazoned with Tequila Patrón logos, swept the front row in Prototype (P) qualifying for Friday’s TUDOR United SportsCar Championship’s race, the Brickyard Grand Prix.
Dalziel, in the No. 1 HPDARX-03b/Honda, set the fastest lap in qualifying around the new-layout of the 2.435-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course at 1 minute, 17.603 seconds (113.145 mph). Teammate van Overbeek was second in the No. 2 car at 1:17.879 (112.702 mph). Dalziel, who drives with Scott Sharp, was especially happy to win the pole after crashing in practice earlier in the day.
“Great day, National Patrón Tequila Day, so I don’t think we could ask for anything better,” Dalziel said. “It would’ve been nice not to have the incident. We needed a good result today and we need a better result tomorrow. We can honestly say that we expected this to be the worst event for us this year. We were fully prepared to come in and get slaughtered pretty good, just try and pick up some points and have a reliable race. I think the resurfacing of the track and also using the IndyCar layout has helped.”
Even though P2 cars took the first three qualifying positions, the Tequila Patrón drivers believe the Daytona Prototype cars will have the overall advantage in Friday’s race. But van Overbeek isn’t ready to give up on Friday’s race.
“After the last couple events, starting on the front row is a piece of it, but we have two hours and 45 minutes to make it count,” said van Overbeek, who’s teamed with Ed Brown. “The team needs it. We’ve had a lot of gremlins, a lot of problems. We’ve worked through a lot of them, but a good result tomorrow would really be a good boost.”