Continental Tire Road Race Showcase Race Report

Circuit:  Road America (4.048-mile road course), Elkhart Lake, WIs.
2013 winners: Klaus Graf / Lucas Luhr [Muscle Milk Pickett Racing HPD-ARX-03c Honda]
Weather: Partly sunny, mild, 78 degrees F

Top 10 Results:

Ps.

Class

Drivers

Team

Chassis/Engine

Laps/Notes

  1.

1.P

Joao Barbosa/Christian Fittipaldi

Action Express

Coyote Corvette

61 laps

  2.

2.P

Oswaldo Negri Jr./John Pew

Michael Shank Rcg

Riley Ford

+2.240 seconds

  3.

3.P

Ryan Dalziel/Scott Sharp

Extreme Speed

HPD ARX-03b Honda

+2.650 seconds

  4.

4.P

Michael Valiante/Richard Westbrook

Spirit of Daytona

Coyote Corvette

+4.770 secnds

  5.

5.P

Eric Curran/Burt Frisselle

Marsh Racing

Coyote Corvette

61 laps

  6.

1.PC

Mirco Schultis/Ranger van der Zande

Starworks Motorsport

ORECA FLM09 Chevy

61 laps

  7.

2.PC

Luis Diaz/Sean Rayhall

8 Star Motorsports

ORECA FLM09 Chevy

61 laps

  8.

6.P

Katherine Legge/Andy Meyrick

DeltaWing Racing

DeltaWing DWC13

61 laps

  9.

7.P

Scott Pruett/Memo Rojas

Chip Ganassi Racing

Riley Ford

61 laps

10.

8.P

Ed Brown/Johannes van Overbeek

Extreme Speed

HPD ARX-03b Honda

61 laps

 

Other Honda-Powered Results:

47.

12.P

James Hinchcliffe/Scott Mayer

Starworks Motorsport

Riley DP Honda

  2 laps – Did Not Finish (crash)

 

Dalziel, Sharp Produce Podium Finish for HPD, Honda at Road America

  • Dalziel scores second consecutive pole for HPD ARX-03b Honda
  • Multiple late-race restarts hamper victory efforts
  • Riley Honda Daytona Prototype returns to TUDOR competition

Once again, the Extreme Speed Motorsports pairing of Ryan Dalziel and Scott Sharp led the way for Honda Performance Development Sunday at the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase, starting from the pole and finishing third in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship race at Road America.

Dalziel claimed the pole on Saturday, in a last-lap effort that netted his second consecutive top qualifying position this season.  Teammate Sharp started and ran the first two stints in the two-hour, 45-minute contest in the LMP2-specification HPD ARX-03b Honda, then handed off to Dalziel.  Both kept the #1 HPD-Honda in the lead group, but a total of six caution flags – three of them coming in the final hour of the contest – hindered their efforts as the frequent restarts handed the advantage to the larger displacement Daytona Prototype-spec machines.

The frequent cautions led Extreme Speed to split pit stop strategies for its two cars, with the #2 HPD-Honda of Ed Brown and Johannes van Overbeek pitting 10 laps later than its #1 HPD Honda teammate.  Other teams also chose to pit either early or late, resulting in separate Prototype groups for the final, seven-lap sprint to the checkers.

In the end, those who pitted earlier, including Dalziel, constituted the lead pack of five at the front of the field, with the second group of three contesting eighth place.  Featuring a larger engine displacement – 3.5 liters, to 2.8 for the LMP2 machines – the Daytona Prototypes pulled away, led by the Action Express duo of Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi, which took the overall victory.

The sole Honda-powered Daytonta Prototype in the field, the Starworks Motorsport Riley Honda, returned to competition this weekend for the first time since debuting at the 12 Hours of Sebring in March.  Driven by IndyCar Series race winner James Hinchcliffe and Scott Mayer, the Riley-Honda demonstrated promise and produced performance gains throughout practice and qualifying, but unfortunately was eliminated in an early-race two-car crash.

The HPD-developed Honda engines used in the TUDOR championship are derived from the Honda "J35" series of production V6 engines and include relevant twin-turbocharger technology, along with the efficiency provided by direct fuel injection. Key production-based components that are utilized include block and heads, crankshaft, direct injection fuel system, valve train components, drive-by-wire throttle, alternator, sensors, fasteners, etc. The engine even utilizes a stock Honda oil filter. 

Video News Releases from this weekend's TUDOR and Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge action at Road America are being posted on a new "Honda Racing/HPD Trackside" YouTube channel produced by the Carolinas Production Group, headed by longtime motorsports broadcaster Rick Benjamin. CPG is providing video highlights packages following Honda Racing/HPD events throughout the 2014 season.  The video packages can be found at: youtube.com/hondaracingtrackside.

The TUDOR United SportsCar Championship continues next month with the September 18-20 Lone Star Le Mans weekend, which will also feature the fourth round of the 2014 FIA World Endurance Championship, at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.

Allen Miller (Project Leader, Sports Cars, Honda Performance Development) on today's race:  "It was a near-perfect weekend for Extreme Speed Motorsports.  The HPD chassis and Honda engines were strong all weekend; the cars and drivers were quick – as proven by our second consecutive pole with Ryan Dalziel on Saturday – and the split pit stop strategy for the #1 and #2 cars was the right call.  But it's tough for us on restarts with the Daytona Prototype cars, and the high number of cautions worked against us today in the battle for the race win.  Our own Daytona Prototype entry was unfortunately eliminated in an early-race accident, and that prevented us from showing the potential of the DP-Honda package.  The team did a good job of making steady progress throughout the weekend, and [driver] James [Hinchcliffe] was a large part of making those improvements.  We hope to progress with the Riley-Honda next month at the Circuit of the Americas. We're also looking forward to returning to the World Endurance Championship at COTA with Extreme Speed Motorsports."

Ryan Dalziel (#1 Extreme Speed Motorsports HPD ARX-03b Honda) started 1st, finished 3rd: "My stint was good, but to be honest, Scott's stint was awesome. He put us in a good position [to win]. This is frustrating. The Honda HPD was fast, but restarts and starts are killing us. There is nothing else we can do. We go one way, they go the other and pass us before the brake zone. It is what it is. I have my foot flat on the floor, and the DPs power by us. I wish I could push harder, but the throttle pedal only goes so far. The fastest car should have won the race, in my opinion. We did everything perfectly. We had the fastest car, the best pit stops and we finished third.  Podiums are good. It is nice to be on the podium. It is nice to have a good, solid couple of races. We've had a difficult run mid-season, but we've got some consistency now. The car has been really good the last couple of races, and it is great to be at Road America with all the great fans here."

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