The final rounds of the Pirelli World Challenge SprintX Championship dealt CRP Racing the highest of highs and the lowest of lows at Circuit of the Americas. The team came out victorious in the triple header race weekend, winning SprintX Round 10, and finishing in third in the makeup of Round 4 with drivers Ryan Dalziel and Daniel Morad. A no-contact penalty during Round 9 dashed all hopes of a podium finish, resulting in the team losing the SprintX Championship by three points.
“It would be easy to be frustrated at how narrowly we missed out on the championship,” said Team Owner Nicholas Short. “However, the amount of work and success that went into this weekend is something to be proud of. Everyone on the team did an incredible job, and we I am grateful we could put on such a great show for our sponsors.”
Circuit of the Americas hosted the only triple header of the season, due to SprintX Round 4 of the Pirelli World Championship at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park being canceled due to weather. Ryan Dalziel started the race from third, and raced in the top five for the majority of his stint. He pitted from fourth, giving the car to Daniel Morad to finish with 30 minutes remaining. A battle immediately ensued with Johnny O’Connell and his Cadillac, with Morad taking the position to chase the sister Cadillac of Michael Cooper. With 12 minutes remaining, the battle intensified, and Morad made the pass for third with just a few laps remaining.
Morad qualified the No. 2 Mercedes AMG GT3 in fifth for Round 9, the second race of the season. As the field raced into turn one in the opening lap, Morad took the inside line alongside Alvaro Parente. As the field made it through turn one, Parente had contact with the Porsche of Pat Long, resulting in the stewards calling Morad in for avoidable contact. As Morad confirmed to the team he had no contact, the pit officials sought clarification from race control. Ultimately, he served the penalty, pitting from second place and rejoining in 10th. After rejoining, the Canadian pitted again for the mandatory driver change, with Ryan Dalziel taking over to the checker flag. Determined to make up lost positions, Dalziel charged forward, immediately gaining back lost ground. Two more cars were called to serve penalties, aiding in the Scotsman’s drive through the field. The finishing result came down to the final lap, as Dalziel and Jordan Taylor raced side by side for fifth position. A strong run out of the final corner gave Dalziel the position, earning the team a fifth place finish.
The fastest lap for the No. 2 Mercedes in Round 9 awarded Dalziel with a fifth place starting position for Round 10. Following his teammate’s racing line the day before, Dalziel took the green flag and went to the inside of turn one, jumping from fifth to third position. He slipped to third as the race went full course caution, where he stayed until the mandatory pit window opened. The No. 58 Porsche of Jorg Bergmeister pitted early, and Dalziel stayed out on track, laying down the car’s fastest laps of the race. He gained significant round on the No. 58 and came in to pit from third. Morad took over and rejoined in sixth, and when the rest of the field’s pit stops cycled through, the No. 2 Mercedes led the field. Morad held off heavy pressure from Pat Long in the Porsche to take the win, the team’s second of the 2017 season.
“It’s a great way to end the SprintX season,” said Morad. “Unfortunately a few penalties that were issued throughout the season ultimately cost us the championship. Regardless of that, it’s great to be able to give our sponsors multiple wins in the season, and to turn it around from the race yesterday. It feels good to get redemption.”
“It was an awesome day,” said Dalziel. “It was a great turn around for the team and was really well deserved. We had the best car in the field today. It was great to give Daniel the car in the front. He controlled the race and did a great job under pressure. I can’t say enough about CRP and Devilbiss. It’s a shame to come up so short on the SprintX Championship. We gave it a try, and we’ll see where we finish the season at Sonoma Raceway.”
One race weekend remains in the 2017 Pirelli World Challenge Championship, the Grand Prix of Sonoma in California, September 15-17.
Source. KBru Communications