Pacific Coast Motorsports missed out on consecutive podium finish in the GT1 class of the American Le Mans Series when a tyre blow out forced the teams Corvette into retirement in the Generac 500 at Road America.

Ryan Dalziel was sitting third in class partnering Alex Figge, when his left-rear tyre blew approaching turn five - causing irreparable damage to the bodywork of the privateer C5-R with just twenty minutes of the two-hour 45-minute endurance sprint remaining.

Before then, the race had been going well for the team, with Dalziel getting the jump on the #35 Maserati MC12 at the start to move from fifth in class to fourth. While the order was soon reversed Dalziel's pace ensured he shadowed the Italian car's every move throughout the opening laps.

Dalziel then survived an early scare having been hit by the damaged #10 Miracle Motorsports entry driven by Chris McMurry, the P2 racer himself a victim of a collision with GT1 racer Johnny Mowlem in the #63 Saleen S7R. As the race settled down Dalziel's focus was fixed firmly on passing the Maserati, which was just four tenths of a second ahead of him after thirty minutes of racing.

PCM ultimately won the battle for fourth in the pits as the team took advantage of the first full course caution of the day to hand the car over to Figge. Racing resumed twenty minutes later and Alex found himself eighth overall and fourth in class behind the leading Corvette C6-R's and the Saleen S7R. Figge kept the #5 Corvette in the thick of the action and moved up to third behind Corvette's factory racers, Ron Fellows and Olivier Beretta.

With two hours on the clock the team called Figge to the pits and Dalziel strapped back in for his second tour of duty at the Elkhart Lake track, the Orlando-resident looking good to take PCM to another podium finish following their third place celebration at Portland last time out.

However it wasn't to be as the tyre blew at 160mph forcing the team out of the race thanks to chassis damage.

"We had third place in the bag today and I'm just sorry for the whole team that our day ended the way it did," Dalziel said. "We were probably more competitive today than at any other time in the season, certainly our fuel strategy was working to perfection and our pace compared to the likes of the Maserati was greatly increased.

"When the tyre blew it was pretty hairy but thankfully I kept the car off the barriers and nobody else was involved. We're not quite sure what happened yet, I might have collected some debris which caused the tyre to let go but we'll need to investigate further. Up to that point our Yokohama's were doing the business and I'd have loved to have got back up onto the podium with Alex for a second time.

"The team deserved the result but it wasn't to be as the damage on the car was too great to even nurse it back to the pits!"

Team director Tyler Tadevic was also disappointed with the way the race had ended.

"Today was a great day right up until the end of the race!" he said. "We had third place stitched up until the tire failure put us out of action. It's a shame for the team as the drivers were flawless and the crew did an awesome job with our strategy and pit work.

"Our new front-end aero package really helped our overall competitiveness. I'm encouraged by our performance, we knew a second podium was in the offing and we'd have taken it firmly on merit."

 

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