Starworks Motorsport announced Wednesday (Nov. 28) that they will return to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in an official capacity for the first time since Sebring in 2017. They will field an Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo full-time in the GT Daytona class. 2018 Pirelli World Challenge SprintX Pro-Am champions Ryan Dalziel and Parker Chase will share the Audi (Note: The Audi that Dalziel and Chase shared for TruSpeed AutoSport in 2018 is pictured above).
For Dalziel, the move is a return of sorts. Prior to the merger of the American Le Mans Series and Grand-AM, Dalziel drove for the team in multiple stints. The first came when the team was still known as SAMAX in the mid-2000s. In 12 Daytona Prototype starts back then, Dalziel earned a victory at Mid-Ohio in 2008 and six top five finishes. He also had a third-place finish at Daytona in 2005 in the GT class. In 2010, he returned to the team, which had become Starworks by that point. In 46 starts there, Dalziel won three races and finished on the podium 18 times. Finally, Dalziel drove in seven of the eight FIA World Endurance Championship races for the team in 2012 (he was forced to miss Bahrain because it was a direct clash with the Grand-AM season finale at Lime Rock Park). Dalziel earned three LMP2 class victories (Sebring, Le Mans and Interlagos) and never finished off the podium. Those results helped Starworks win the inaugural LMP2 Trophy.
“When my 2018 program was announced it was ending the first call I got was from Peter Baron at Starworks saying we should get the band back together,” Dalziel said in a press release. “I’ve enjoyed much of my racing success under the Starworks banner and I’ve put all my efforts in the past few months making this happen. Continuity is so important in racing, and surrounding yourself with people who truly believe in you. This program is a continuation from the 2018 championship winning effort with Parker. He and I sharing a car with Peter Baron steering the ship is a force to be reckoned with. Audi has been a big part of making this happen and I’m extremely grateful for their trust in us to represent them.”
For the 17-year old Chase, this will be his first full-time campaign in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. He’s very happy to have the opportunity.
“I’m super happy to be joining Starworks Motorsport for my 2019 IMSA campaign, and to be driving with Ryan again,” Chase stated. “It’s great to continue my relationship with Audi as well in the new R8 GT3 Evo. It’ll be my first time at Daytona and I can’t be more excited. I’m ready to get started.”
Chase has one career start in the series. That came at his home track, Circuit of the Americas, in 2017 for The Racers Group. Sharing with fellow New Braunfels, Tex. resident Harry Gottsacker, Chase finished 16th in GT Daytona.
Post-merger, Starworks Motorsport focused on the now-defunct Prototype Challenge class, running two full-time entries in the class from 2014-2016. The team had nine class victories, all of which came with Renger van der Zande as part of the driving lineup. Since then, Starworks itself hasn’t been on-track. but team owner Peter Baron has been very active, helping out the Montaplast by Land-Motorsport part-time effort.
There will be additional announcements in the coming weeks from Starworks. The team did not announce additional drivers for the endurance races, or which number they will run.