SportsCar Championship set to debut with 54 cars entered for Roar Before The Rolex 24 at Daytona

GT Daytona leads four-class field with 22 entries for three-day test

SportsCar Championship set to debut with 54 cars entered for Roar Before The Rolex 24 at Daytona
#5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP: Joao Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi, Filipe Albuquerque and #85 JDC/Miller Motorsports ORECA FLM09: Chris Miller, Mikhail Goikhberg, Stephen Simpson
#5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP: Joao Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi, Sebastien Bourdais
#16 Change Racing Lamborghini Huracan: Bill Sweedler, Townsend Bell, Bryan Sellers, Madison Snow, Bryce Miller
#5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP: Joao Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi, Filipe Albuquerque
#01 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford/Riley: Scott Pruett, Joey Hand, Scott Dixon
#54 CORE autosport Oreca FLM09: Jon Bennett, Colin Braun
#54 CORE autosport Oreca FLM09: Jon Bennett, Colin Braun
#16 Change Racing Lamborghini Huracan: Bill Sweedler, Townsend Bell, Bryan Sellers, Madison Snow, Bryce Miller
#911 Porsche Team North America Porsche 911 RSR: Nick Tandy, Patrick Pilet, Richard Lietz
#73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT America: Patrick Lindsey, Spencer Pumpelly, Jim Norman, David Ducote, Kevin Estre
#54 CORE autosport Oreca FLM09: Jon Bennett, Colin Braun, Anthony Lazzaro
#54 CORE autosport Oreca FLM09: Jon Bennett, Colin Braun, Anthony Lazzaro
#63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia: Bill Sweedler, Townsend Bell, Jeff Segal
#911 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR: Patrick Pilet, Nick Tandy, Richard Lietz
#70 SpeedSource Mazda Mazda: Sylvain Tremblay, Jonathan Bomarito, Tristan Nunez, James Hinchcliffe, #73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT America: Patrick Lindsey, Spencer Pumpelly, Jim Norman, David Ducote, Kevin Estre

Daytona Beach, Fla. – The 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship makes its debut this weekend at Daytona International Speedway with a 54-car field entered for the three-day Roar Before The Rolex 24 At Daytona test this Friday through Sunday, Jan. 8-10.

The test sessions – which are open to the public – will feature the debut of many new WeatherTech Championship race cars, particularly in the series’ two GT classes. The GT Daytona (GTD) class features the most entries, with 22, followed by 13 Prototypes, 11 GT Le Mans (GTLM) entries and eight Prototype Challenge (PC) cars.

“We are extremely proud of this entry list for the Roar Before The Rolex 24, which foreshadows the entries for the Rolex 24 At Daytona later this month,” said IMSA CEO Ed Bennett. “These entries represent a great balance of quality and quantity across all four of our classes and will make for fantastic racing when we kick off the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship on Jan. 30-31. We are pleased to welcome so many world class drivers, teams and manufacturer brands back to Daytona.”

Prototype class

Included among the Prototype class entries are two-time defending WeatherTech Championship Prototype champions Action Express Racing and No. 5 Action Express Corvette DP co-drivers Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi. Barbosa and Fittipaldi will be joined by five-time overall Rolex 24 At Daytona winner Scott Pruett – who is going for an unprecedented sixth Rolex 24 win this year – and Filipe Albuquerque, who claimed a Rolex 24 GT class victory in 2013.

Defending Rolex 24 At Daytona champions Ford Chip Ganassi Racing also will return with a pair of entries in the Prototype class, including the No. 02 Ford EcoBoost/Riley DP to be shared by defending race winners Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Jamie McMurray and Kyle Larson

GTLM class

However, the two Prototypes represent only half of a highly anticipated four-car entry from Ford Chip Ganassi Racing, as the team also will publicly debut its two Ford GT race cars in the GTLM class. Joining the Ford GT among new race cars in the class will be a pair BMW M6 GTLM race cars from BMW Team RLL and two new Ferrari 488s – one from Scuderia Corsa and the other from SMP Racing – while a third Ferrari 488 from Risi Competizione is expected for the 54th Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 30-31.

The new Ford, BMW and Ferrari machines all will be turbocharged and will face stiff competition in GTLM from two venerable manufacturer-supported teams in Corvette Racing and Porsche North America. Corvette Racing returns with a pair of Chevrolet Corvette C7.Rs which combined to win three crown jewels of endurance sports car racing in 2015, the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Porsche North America, meanwhile, took the 2015 WeatherTech Championship GTLM team and manufacturer titles, and Patrick Pilet, who is entered in the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR, won the 2015 GTLM driver championship. Pilet will share the No. 911 with Nick Tandy and Kevin Estre.

GTD class

In addition to featuring the most entries, the GTD class also will showcase the most new cars following a shift to full FIA GT3 technical regulations in 2016 for its seven manufacturers. Six of those manufacturers – Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, Ferrari, Porsche and Dodge – competed in the class last year, although all will introduce new or updated models for GTD competition this year.

Lamborghini joins the WeatherTech Championship with four entries at the Roar Before The Rolex 24, including one for defending GTD driver champions Townsend Bell and Bill Sweedler, who will share the No. 11 O’Gara Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán after racing Ferraris for the past several years.

PC class

In the PC class, eight Chevrolet V8-powered ORECA FLM09s are expected for both the Roar and the Rolex 24 At Daytona. Leading the way will be two-time defending WeatherTech Championship PC champions Jon Bennett and Colin Braun with the No. 54 CORE autosport team and the No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports team that won the PC class at Daytona, Sebring and Petit Le Mans in 2015.

Three days of testing for the WeatherTech Championship get underway Friday morning at 10:15 a.m. ET with the first of eight scheduled sessions through Sunday afternoon. In addition to the WeatherTech Championship, the Roar Before The Rolex 24 test also will include three days of testing for the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, which opens its season on Friday, Jan. 29 with the BMW Performance 200.

IMSA

shares
comments
Paul Miller Racing adds Mirko Bortolotti

Previous article

Paul Miller Racing adds Mirko Bortolotti

Next article

Panoz DeltaWing returns for complete 2016 season

Panoz DeltaWing returns for complete 2016 season
Load comments
The significance of the next step in WEC/IMSA convergence Prime

The significance of the next step in WEC/IMSA convergence

Following the latest convergence connection permitting Le Mans Hypercars from the FIA World Endurance Championship to compete against LMDh entries in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship from 2023, it could open up enticing options not only to manufacturers but also for the calendar and race formats

WEC
Jul 13, 2021
Why a Mazda IMSA Prototype title would bring bitter joy Prime

Why a Mazda IMSA Prototype title would bring bitter joy

Can Mazda win this year’s IMSA Prototype championship? Undoubtedly. But it will be the culmination of an achingly hard struggle, after which the brand has decided to quit. David Malsher-Lopez tells the story of a bizarre blend of heartache and positivity.

IMSA
Apr 6, 2021
The GTE dilemma that IMSA has created for the WEC Prime

The GTE dilemma that IMSA has created for the WEC

The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s decision to scrap its GT Le Mans class for 2022 raises the question of whether the FIA World Endurance Championship should phase out GTE cars. But it's a much harder decision than it appears on the surface.

WEC
Feb 3, 2021
Nine things to watch at the 2021 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona Prime

Nine things to watch at the 2021 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona

After a 100-minute sprint race to whet the appetite, the 2021 IMSA SportsCar Championship gets underway properly this weekend. With plenty of significant changes during the winter, here are the key points you need to keep an eye on

IMSA
Jan 29, 2021
Why Magnussen is relishing a fresh start in sportscars Prime

Why Magnussen is relishing a fresh start in sportscars

Having gone over seven years without a race win through spells with McLaren, Renault and Haas, Kevin Magnussen's departure from Formula 1 for IMSA with big-hitters Chip Ganassi Racing could give him what he craves most - a chance of success

IMSA
Jan 29, 2021
Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights Prime

Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights

Oliver Gavin has stepped down from the full-time Corvette Racing line-up after a stellar career with the team spanning nearly 20 years. He looks back on a stint that encompassed, among other successes, five Le Mans 24 Hours victories.

Le Mans
Jan 28, 2021
How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends Prime

How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends

Victory at last year's Spa 24 Hours meant Nick Tandy had completed the unofficial sextuple crown of the world's six biggest endurance races, becoming the first Briton to do so. Ahead of his fresh start with Corvette Racing, he explains how he did it…

Le Mans
Jan 24, 2021
The 12 greatest Sebring 12 Hours ranked Prime

The 12 greatest Sebring 12 Hours ranked

The 2020 edition of the Florida sportscar classic is finally taking place this weekend, eight months after its traditional date in March. That meant there was plenty of time for Motorsport.com to pour over its previous 67 races and select the best.

IMSA
Nov 11, 2020