CRP RACING: UNLOCKING THE POTENTIAL
hen proven winners join forces, one
might anticipate great things, the sum being
greater than the already potent parts.
In his last go-around in Pirelli World
Challenge in 2015, Ryan Dalziel would
almost certainly have walked away with the
GT championship had he not missed three
races due to a conflict with his FIA World
Endurance Championship commitments for
the Extreme Speed Motorsports P2 squad.
CRP Racing nearly won the PWC GT
title in 2014 with Mike Skeen and Audi.
And the Mercedes-AMG GT3, despite
no racing history in the U.S. prior to
2017, has multiple victories worldwide.
Combine those elements in this year’s
PWC GT ranks and the result appears to
be a powerhouse, a can’t-miss team. Sure,
the early season results show a promise
somewhat fulfilled, with a victory in the
second SprintX round at VIRginia
International Raceway and Dalziel sitting
fourth in the Overall GT Drivers’
Championship after eight of 19 races. But it
hasn’t been the world-beating performance
some may have expected; much of that
comes down to the learning curve.
“I don’t think we’ve lived up to
pre-season favorite status,” says Dalziel, a
Scot who now calls Florida home. “The first
couple of races were really tough for us,
and I think a part of it was that the car was
a little difficult for us on the street courses.
There wasn’t a lot of experience to draw
upon, and we were having to feel our way.”
While Riley Motorsports showed well
with the Mercedes-AMG in the IMSA
Weather Tech Championship’s GTD class at
the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona,
IMSA hadn’t run any street races when
PWC turned up for its season opener in
St. Petersburg, and any data from teams
elsewhere in the world was no help, either.
At the Grand Prix of Long Beach, Dalziel
was quick in the first practice, but never
really advanced – meanwhile, Riley won
GTD in the weekend’s IMSA race.
Then came the start of the SprintX
season, where things began to look up.
With Daniel Morad joining Dalziel for the
hour-long races, the team scored its first
top-five finish and then a first win at VIR,
The combination of Ryan Dalziel, the Mercedes-AMG GT3 and
CRP Racing is yet to hit its stride in Pirelli World Challenge
GT, but a win in SprintX has already hinted at its potential.
WORDS Richard S. James MAIN IMAGE Richard Dole/LAT