Dalziel, Alberico round out Mid-Ohio PWC, Pro Mazda winners

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Since we touched on every other race that occurred at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course this weekend, it’s only fitting to round out our race report coverage from the picturesque 2.258-mile permanent road course with the last two winners, Ryan Dalziel (Pirelli World Challenge GT race two) and Neil Alberico (Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires race two).

Quick recaps from the series PR staffs are below:

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Photo: Pirelli World Challenge

PWC

For the second straight year, Ryan Dalziel, of Windermere, Fla, swept the GT weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, winning Round 15, part of the StopTech Grand Prix presented by MOMO. Bryan Heitkotter, of Fresno, Calif., won in GTA and finished third overall, while Colin Thompson, of Doylestown, Pa., won Round 13 of the GT Cup presented by MOMO class.

Dalziel, in the No. 31 EFFORT Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R, was never challenged in a dominating second straight win, over Davison in second and Heitkotter, who finished third overall and first in GTA. Thompson and Udell battled for the majority of the GT Cup race but Thompson defended well for the win. Brett Sandberg, of Allendale, N.J. finished third. For Heitkotter it’s his fifth GTA win of the year, while Thompson secured his 10th win. Cindric and Montecalvo finished second and third respectively in GTA.

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Photo: Pro Mazda

Pro Mazda

Californian Neil Alberico kept himself in the frame for this year’s Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires by guiding his Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing entry to a comfortable victory in Sunday morning’s Cooper Tires Pro Mazda Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio.

For the second day in succession there was drama at the start. The drivers had been expressly warned after their conduct yesterday by Race Director Scot Elkins, so when polesitter Garett Grist accelerated before the green flag had been waved, the start was aborted and Grist’s Juncos Racing entry was sent to the back of the field.

Alberico, who had lined up second on the grid, took full advantage of the vacant pole position by leaping into the lead at the start. A series of fast laps established a gap over Buret, who had usurped Urrutia at the start, and thereafter Alberico cruised out to an advantage of 5.5 seconds before Cape Motorsports teammate Florian Latorre crashed out of sixth place in Turn 12 to ensure the 30-minute race would finish under caution.

Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
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ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).

“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.

“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”

For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.

“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.

“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”

Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.

“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.