IMSA: Dalziel, Goossens Join Spirit of Daytona for Full 2016 WeatherTech Championship Slate

RaceChaser Staff Featured, Road Racing, Southeast, WeatherTech 0 Comments

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – official team release — Jerry Markland/Getty Images North America photo —

Ryan Dalziel and Marc Goossens will join the Spirit of Daytona VisitFlorida.com Racing team to drive the No. 90 VisitFlorida.com Racing Corvette DP during the full 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season.

Dalziel and Goossens replace former drivers Richard Westebrook and Michael Valiante behind the wheel of the No. 90 Corvette DP.

“We have worked to build this team from season to season and I’m very excited about having Marc (Goossens) and Ryan (Dalziel) with us next year in the Visit Florida car,” said team owner Troy Flis. “They’ve worked together before, are very fast, and I think will help us take this program further and into the future as we look ahead. I’m proud of what we accomplished last season, but we have our sights set on being stronger next year.”

Having delivered the first-ever victory for the Corvette DP in 2012, the team will look to extend their history of success with Chevrolet in 2016.

“While it is a big change for us to have an all-new driver line-up, we are keeping nearly everything the same on this side of the wall so that kind of consistency will help us as a team from a performance point of view,” said Flis. “We are very happy about our relationship with Chevrolet and everyone at Pratt and Miller. We are already well into our 2016 program and looking forward to even more strength together with GM. I’m really happy to have that foundation in place already so that we can really focus on what is ahead for us starting at the November test.”

Goossens has raced as a factory pilot for Cadillac, Riley Technologies and SRT Motorsports, and has over 80 starts in Grand-Am, ALMS and IMSA competition. After proving himself on the international stage in the open-wheel ranks, Goossens’ move to sports cars saw him help to deliver breakthrough victories for his teams in both Prototype and GT competition.  With 12 starts in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, five wins in the 24 Hours of Zolder, and starts in both NASCAR XFINITY and Sprint Cup competition, Goossens brings a huge reservoir of experience as well as speed to the effort.

“This is very exciting for me to be not only returning to Prototypes, but to be doing so with a team that has so much momentum like Visit Florida.com Racing,” said Goossens.  “Troy (Flis, team owner) has clearly been putting things in place, building the organization and it has shown very clearly with what they have been able to accomplish. Ryan (Dalziel) and I have worked very well together and hopefully we can continue to bring even more success to Visit Florida.”

With wins in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, 24 Hours of Le Mans, and Sebring 12 Hours, Dalziel has more than 120 starts across Grand-Am, ALMS and IMSA competition. The Scottish-born pilot, who now calls Florida home, won the 2012 FIA WEC Championship in LMP2 competition. Dalziel will continue his FIA WEC program with ESM in 2016 in parallel to his efforts with VisitFlorida.com Racing.

“I live in Florida, so I’m obviously thrilled to be racing for Visit Florida.com Racing,” said Dalziel. “I’ve known Troy (Flis) for a long time and have seen first-hand how his team has stepped up every year and built on the season before. That is exactly what we hope to do in 2016 and working with Marc (Goossens) again is something that I’m also very much looking forward to. I’d like to thank Scott Sharp and Ed Brown for giving me the green light to pursue an IMSA WeatherTech Championship run with Visit Florida.com, in addition to my full season WEC campaign with Patron ESM. It is going to be a busy year for me, but I wouldn’t have it any other way and I can’t wait to get going at the test later this month.”

CREDIT: Spirit of Daytona / VisitFlorida.com Racing

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