TUSC: Ryan Dalziel feeling “robbed” after Sebring runner-up

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Going into the final hour of yesterday’s Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring, Extreme Speed Motorsports and its No. 1 HPD ARX-03b, driven at the time by Ryan Dalziel, was ahead of the pack.

But with 51 minutes remaining, a full-course yellow came out for a car stopped on the track – just after the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Riley/Ford Ecoboost Daytona Prototype of Marino Franchitti had pitted under green.

While Dalziel and the rest of the leaders pitted under yellow for fuel, the Ganassi No. 01 stayed out to take the lead. Dalziel wound up second for the restart with 21 minutes left, and Franchitti promptly pulled away from him en route to the eventual win.

That caused the Scotsman to tweet out his frustration over the finish, going as far to say that he felt “robbed” by the outcome.

Dalziel also told MotorSportsTalk’s Tony DiZinno afterwards: “I never saw the car off. But I’ve never known GRAND-AM or [the American Le Mans Series] to throw competition cautions before.”

Still, he noted the mix of Prototypes in the Top 4 finishing positions: Ganassi’s DP, his team’s P2 car, the third-place No. 5 Action Express DP, and the fourth-place P2 from OAK Racing.

“I don’t know how anybody could’ve complained about that,” he said. “It just would’ve been nice if it was a P2, [then a DP in second], but it wasn’t.”

Dalziel also felt that his time behind the wheel of the No. 1 ESM machine (which he shared with ex-IndyCar man Scott Sharp and David Brabham) was solid.

He additionally sounded off on the multiple first-half wrecks that marred the event, which included two major crashes in the Prototype Challenge category.

One of those PC incidents saw Alex Tagliani slam into Gaston Kearby after the latter lost control of his car and then attempted to spin himself back in the right direction.

Unfortunately, Kearby spun into the racing line and “Tag” was unable to keep from hitting him. Both drivers came out of it OK, but it was still a lowlight of the afternoon.

“The first part of the race was – it’s always the same with these big races, it’s no different at Daytona – when you get to the halfway point, all the crap cars and idiots make mistakes for themselves and take themselves out of the race,” Dalziel explained.

“Much like the couple of big incidents we had today – they were people where it was just waiting to happen…You’re thankful no one is hurt but on the other hand, you almost are relieved the cars are out of the race.

“Unfortunately, they took a couple of competitive cars with them, but I think [with the bigger car count], we’re gonna face that all year and we’re gonna have to deal with it.”

Have a decent tax refund coming? Buy Ayrton Senna’s 1993 Monaco-winning car

Photos courtesy Bonhams
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Are you expecting a better than normal tax refund? Did you get a very nice bonus from your company due to the new tax cut?

Well, if you have a good chunk of change hanging around and potentially can be in Monaco on May 11, you can have a chance to bid on the 1993 McLaren-Ford MP4/8A that the late Ayrton Senna drove in — and won — that year’s Monaco Grand Prix.

We’re not just talking about any race winner. It’s also the same car Senna won his sixth Monaco Grand Prix, and the chassis bears the number six.

It’s also the same car Senna piloted to that season’s F1 championship (his third and final title before sadly being killed the next year) and is the first McLaren driven by Senna that’s ever been sold or put up for auction.

The famed Bonhams auction house is overseeing the sale of the car.

“Any Grand Prix-winning car is important, but to have the golden combination of both Senna and Monaco is a seriously rare privilege indeed,” Bonhams global head of motorsport, Mark Osborne, told The Robb Report.

“Senna and Monaco are historically intertwined, and this car represents the culmination of his achievements at the Monegasque track. This is one of the most significant Grand Prix cars ever to appear at auction, and is certainly the most significant Grand Prix car to be offered since the Fangio Mercedes-Benz W196R, which sold for a world record at auction.”

How much might you need? You might want to get a couple of friends to throw in a few bucks as well.

“We expect the car to achieve a considerable seven-figure sum,” Osborne said.

The London newspaper “The Telegraph” predicts the car will sell in the $6.1 million range.”

“This car will set the world record for a Senna car at auction,” Osborne said. “We are as certain as you can be in the auction world.”

While you won’t be able to take the car for a test drive before the auction, it’ll be ready to roar once you pay the price.

“In theory, the buyer could be racing immediately upon receipt of the cleared funds after the auction,” Osborne said. “All systems are primed and ready.”