• 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.