Watch Scots racers step up in the US and at home


RYAN Dalziel helped power Era Motorsport to a great LMP2 second place at Laguna Seca – and left California leading the IMSA Sportscar Championship class standings.

The Airdrie racer joined Dwight Merriman in their Oreca and produced a flawless display. Merriman started from sixth and kept his opening stint very smooth, working his way up to second before handing over to Dalziel.

With an hour and 40 minutes left, the Scot also stayed out of trouble for a sprint in the final half hour, finishing second behind Louis Deletraz.

He said: “Today was a really good result. Coming into the event, we had an opportunity to leave here with driver point leads and we accomplished that.

“It was a tough race, with only one yellow flag. The car was really good, the crew nailed their pit stops and Dwight had a brilliant stint, so it was a good points day.”

Era Motorsport Oreca racers Ryan Dalziel and Dwight Merriman's Oreca at Laguna Seca in California
Era Motorsport Oreca racers Ryan Dalziel and Dwight Merriman’s Oreca at Laguna Seca in California

Glasgow star Stevan McAleer was in the GTD class with Alex Premat in the Korthoff Mercedes-AMG and they came home in fifth place.

McAleer was on double duty in California and defied food poisoning to charge from 13th to second in the Pilot Challenge, building on Premat’s start in the RS1 Porsche 718 Cayman.

He said: “What a hard fight – I love this GT4 racing in the Pilot Challenge. There wasn’t a single car I caught that was easy to pass. I was feeling terrible all day but coming from 13th to second in the closing stages was as fun as could be.”

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Further down the field, Robin Liddell, from Edinburgh, and Frank DePew came home 15th in the Rebel Rock Racing Chevrolet Camaro.

Back in the UK, Fife’s Dean Macdonald was in the Garage 59 assault on the GT World Challenge Europe series with Miguel Ramos at Brands Hatch.

Dean Macdonald racing a Garage 59 McLaren 720S GT3 during the GT World Challenge Europe series at Brands Hatch
Dean Macdonald racing a Garage 59 McLaren 720S GT3 during the GT World Challenge Europe series at Brands Hatch

The young Kelty star helped them to fourth and then third place finishes in the Pro-Am class in the team’s McLaren 720S GT3.

The support classes involved the GT Cup – where Motherwell’s Ian Loggie took time out from his British GT campaign to add some extra miles in the Ram Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3.

He came away with fourth, sixth and third place finishes, while Dumfriesshire’s Ross Wylie had a bizarre and memorable weekend at the famous Kent venue.

Power failure deprived him of a likely second-place at the wheel of the SB Race Engineering Brabham BT62 Competition in the closing stages of Saturday’s 50-minute race.

Rory Skinner, left, on the podium at the British Superbike Championship meet at Oulton Park in Cheshire
Rory Skinner, left, on the podium at the British Superbike Championship meet at Oulton Park in Cheshire

But in Sunday’s pit-stop contest, Wylie and co-driver Paul Bailey scored a commanding GTO category victory in a McLaren MP4-12C Can Am that the team had collected after a 250-mile round trip overnight.

The 30-year-old Scot said: “Brands was one of the strangest weekends of my motor racing career. To race two different cars, over a period of 48 hours, in the same championship, felt very odd – especially to then get an unexpected class win.”

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Sadly, Stirlingshire’s Tarran Mackenzie was still sidelined due to pre-season injury as the British Superbike Championship visited Oulton Park in Cheshire for the second round of races.

But the defending title-holder and McAMS Yamaha rider remained optimistic, saying: “I’ve got extra time for rehabilitation so I’ll now turn my focus to coming back to Donington in a few weeks as strong as I can.”

Perth’s Rory Skinner, however, enjoyed a superb haul of points on his FS-3 Kawasaki, finishing an impressive second, fifth and fourth over the three contests. The young rider is now third in the standings.

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Knockhill circuit, in Fife, also saw two-wheel action as it hosted Scottish and KMSC Bike Racing Championships covering classes such as 125s/300s, CB500, Formula 600, lightweights, pre-injection 600s, sidecars, superbikes and clubman.

Notable successes were enjoyed by Brandon Russell, Finn Chalk, Jon Dickie, Oliver Barr, Bruce Birnie, Ross McCulloch, Kyle Harper, Michael MacKinnon, Lee Crawford and Scott Hardie, William Monie, Matthew Paulo and Lewis Paterson.

This weekend, four-time British GT champion Jonny Adam will return to the competition – but the Aston Martin factory driver is pedaling a Mercedes-AMG GT3.

The Kirkcaldy star is re-igniting his 2018 title-winning partnership with Flick Haigh at the Silverstone 500. The duo will also do the Snetterton and Brands Hatch rounds with 2Seas Motorsport – who also run Inverness driver Lewis Williamson in the series.

Adam said: “I am super-excited to be back in the British GT for a few selected rounds and returning to racing with Flick – we have high hopes of achieving some solid results.”

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Jonny Adam and Flick Haigh are preparing for British GT Championship action
Jonny Adam and Flick Haigh are preparing for British GT Championship action

Forfar’s Sandy Mitchell, at the wheel of a Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan and also a former champion, is equally fired up for the three-hour race at a track where he has enjoyed considerable success in the past.

Other Scots to watch out for will likely include Loggie, Aberdonian father-and-son duo Stewart and Lewis Proctor in their Greystone GT McLaren 720S and Wylie in a Valluga GT4 Porsche Cayman.

In the supporting races, Uddingston’s Cian Shields is set to continue his GB3 campaign with Hitech GP, as are East Kilbride’s Logan Hannah and Chloe Grant, from Perth, racing their Knockhill-based Graham Brunton Racing GB4 cars.

The Fife venue, meanwhile, will be hosting further Scottish Motor Racing Club action, featuring MINI, Ford Fiesta ST, Citroen C1 and classic sports car and saloon races, as well as visiting Modified Ford and Super Touring clashes.

The Touring Cars will compete for the coveted David Leslie Trophy and topping the entry list is Scottish BTCC legend John Cleland in his race-winning ex-Works Vauxhall Vectra.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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