Ryan Dalziel said it was "hard to take" finishing in second position at the Rolex 24 at Daytona after being on course to win for so much of the race.
The 29-year-old Briton, who was bidding to add to his victory at the 2010 event, put his Starworks Riley-Ford on pole position and led large parts of the race with help from his co-drivers Allan McNish, Lucas Luhr, Enzo Potolicchio and Alex Popow. But a major trip through the dirt for Luhr dropped the car off the lead lap during the second half of the event and left the team relying on clever strategy around the caution periods to get back into a threatening position.
Dalziel finished just 5sec behind the winning Michael Shank Riley crew, halving the gap to AJ Allmendinger during the final hour of the race. He said that only as time passed could he look back positively on the result.
"It is disappointing," he said. "I would be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed. We were the car to beat and it was nice to lead so many laps, but leading so many laps sometimes makes it feel worse when you don't take the checkered flag.
"I have never been in such a dominant position before and not won the race. We were the dominant car and that is the hardest thing to take. We had the car to beat, but sometimes things do not go your way. We qualified on pole, had the fastest lap but we didn't win."
Despite his disappointment, Dalziel admitted that second place had still been a great result for Peter Baron's Starworks organization, which only received its new Riley chassis six days before the start of the Daytona weekend.
"On the plus side, it was an amazing race and the perfect way to mark the 50th running for Daytona," he added. "Starworks did an awesome job. Peter put together an amazing crew and we had an incredible car. We will now focus on the rest of the year.
"Second place is great. We will probably appreciate it a bit more after a little time."