Support flows in for Daly’s Indy 500 debut

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Support flowed in via Twitter throughout Tuesday once it was confirmed Conor Daly would be making his Indianapolis 500 debut with A.J. Foyt Racing.

From fellow Indy rookie AJ Allmendinger (right), “Congrats on the deal man,” followed by a “Haha now u make me feel old lol” once Daly had tweeted Allmendinger saying he had Allmendinger’s Champ Car rookie season (2004) hero card.

Teammate Takuma Sato had this to say: “Congratulations @ConorDaly22! Welcome to @AJFoytRacing. Look forward to work with you in May.”

Superlatives came from NBC Sports Network Formula 1 pit reporter Will Buxton, who offered this: “Huge news. Finally confirmed. @ConorDaly22 will race the 2013 Indy 500 with @AJFoytRacing. Mega. Epic. Etc.”

Other tweets from the racing world, primarily from fellow IndyCar drivers, are below:

  • JR Hildebrand: “see ya at the track brah…”
  • Sebastian Saavedra: “congrats brotha! Ill see you in may. #Indy500orBust #wellDeserved”
  • Tony Kanaan: “congrats my friend.”
  • Will Power: “Good to see mate.. Congrats.”
  • Graham Rahal: “waiting for my agent fee ; ) congrats again dude! need your help finishing up the karts!”
  • Marco Andretti: “congrats man”
  • James Hinchcliffe: “you better stay out of my way punk!….just kidding, congrats dude! Enjoy every moment of May. It’s gunna be a ride!”
  • Ryan Dalziel: “big congrats buddy. Well deserved.”

Not bad for a rookie set to make his first oval start.

The Callaway Corvette GT3 is coming to America, in PWC

Photo: Callaway Competition USA
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Pirelli World Challenge has been in need of some good news from a car count standpoint early into this offseason, and receives it Monday with confirmation Callaway Competition will bring its GT3-spec homologated Corvette C7 GT3-R Stateside next season.

The withdrawal of the factory Cadillac Racing program after PWC’s season finale in Sonoma in September has opened the door for the factory-blessed Corvette C7 GT3-R to run in North America, because Cadillac’s ATS-V.R has been the lone GT3-spec car under the General Motors awning for the last three seasons, while the Callaway Corvette has raced only internationally.

Reeves Callaway has been on site at the tail end of the PWC season to survey the opportunity and now a deal has been struck for a factory effort to run next year, before the Callaway Corvette program becomes a customer effort in 2019. This follows the same timeline as Acura did with its new NSX GT3 this year to run it as a factory program in 2017 before shifting to customer efforts in 2018.

“Joining the Pirelli World Challenge has been a long term objective for Callaway Competition,” Callaway said in a release. “Now the field is a roll-call of the most capable sports cars from every country. To do well here, you must beat the best in the world. What better way to showcase our iconic American car?

“For 2018, we will run a Callaway factory team to give us the best chance of continuing the championship record the Corvette has achieved in international competition. For 2019, we will not race against our customers, but provide high-quality support to them in the tradition of other manufacturer customer racing support programs.”

“For several years fans have asked when they would see the Callaway Corvette GT3 run in the Pirelli World Challenge,” added Greg Gill, President and CEO of Pirelli World Challenge. “The wait is over and we are very pleased to announce the arrival of the Callaway Corvette GT3 for the 2018 season.”

The Callaway Competition USA Corvette C7 GT3-R will be unveiled and both full season drivers announced at the Performance Racing Industry show in Indianapolis on December 7 at the Pirelli World Challenge booth. Following the unveiling event, the car will be on display for the remainder of the trade show. Details of the presentation will be announced in the coming weeks.

Callaway’s confirmation comes amidst the likely drawdown of potentially nine or 10 cars that raced in PWC’s GT and GTA ranks either all season or most of it in 2017, among at least five manufacturers. That’s not to say those losses can’t be recouped elsewhere on the grid, over the next several months before the St. Petersburg season opener in March.

PWC will hold its annual state of the series and competitor meeting to finalize the next year’s plans at the PRI show as well.