Several signings have been officially announced yesterday and today for the Rolex 24 at Daytona. Here’s a quick roundup:
- Sage Karam’s tease of a “Christmas gift” came to fruition on Friday with the news the Firestone Indy Lights champion will co-drive the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Ford EcoBoost Riley Daytona Prototype. Ganassi’s longtime NASCAR driver, Jamie McMurray, is the fourth driver to round out the lineup alongside full-season drivers Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas.
- The second CGR car may be the better overall endurance lineup, with two of Ganassi’s full-season IndyCar drivers Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan joining new NASCAR recruit Kyle Larson and Dario Franchitti’s younger brother Marino in the No. 02 car. Larson and Karam will each be making their 24-hour race debuts.
- As we hinted yesterday, 2012 IndyCar champion Ryan Hunter-Reay will return to SRT Motorsports for endurance races with Rob Bell the second endurance driver in the GTLM class SRT Viper GTS-Rs. Hunter-Reay joins full-season drivers Dominik Farnbacher and Marc Goossens in the No. 91, with Bell alongside Kuno Wittmer and Jonathan Bomarito in the No. 93.
- Alex Brundle has officially been confirmed in Muscle Milk Pickett Racing’s No. 6 ORECA 03 Nissan alongside Klaus Graf and Lucas Luhr. Tom Dyer joins the trio for the test. Additionally, the Pickett team has become an official partner with Nissan, and drivers from the Nismo Global Driver Exchange Program will race at further TUDOR Championship endurance races.
- Per Sportscar365, John Martin will join the Frisselle brothers/Stefan Johansson/Fabien Giroix lineup in the No. 9 Action Express Racing Corvette DP for Daytona, and IMSA Prototype Lites champion Sean Rayhall will step up to a full season effort in the No. 87 BAR1 Motorsports PC car.
Here’s a list of pre-new year driver and team combinations, and a link to the Roar entry list. Meanwhile in series announcements, Tully’s Coffee has been announced as Official Coffee of the TUDOR Championship & a Proud Partner of IMSA.
Tully’s was a sponsor for the then-called Dempsey Del Piero Racing team in 2013 with proposed investment from Michael Avenatti, but Avenatti did not drive another race for the team after Monterey in May. Avenatti has resurfaced with the new GB Autosport team, which fields the No. 81 Porsche 911 GT America in the GT Daytona class, with co-drivers Damien Faulkner, Bob Faieta and Patrick Huisman.
Times from this morning’s first session are linked here, via IMSAtiming.com.
This post will be updated as further announcements roll in.
MILAN (AP) Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone is confident the Italian Grand Prix in Monza can find the needed cash to stay on the calendar.
Ecclestone tells the Gazzetta dello Sport, “We will find the right solution – I no longer have doubts – to provide a future for the Italian GP.”
No circuit has hosted more F1 racing than Monza, but officials at the track outside Milan have had trouble producing the estimated 25 million euros ($26.6 million) per year that Ecclestone seeks to keep the race in place after the current contract expires next year.
Ecclstone says, “Things have been cleared up and there is only one go between, (Angelo) Sticchi Damiani, the president of the Italian Automobile Club.”
The Italian GP next year is scheduled for Sept. 4.
Plans to introduce a new alternative, cheaper engine into Formula 1 for 2017 – hypothetically a 2.2-liter V6 similar to what is seen in IndyCar – will at least temporarily go on the backburner.
The F1 Commission has rejected the so called “alternative engine solution,” where several companies submitted proposals to be that alternative supplier.
“The F1 Commission voted not to pursue this option at this stage — however, it may be reassessed after the Power Unit manufacturers have presented their proposal to the Strategy Group,” the FIA said on Wednesday.
“The parties involved have agreed on a course to address several key areas relating to Power Unit supply in Formula One,” the statement added.
Meanwhile the statement outlined four things the current manufacturers – Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault and Honda – would be tasked with improving on the current 1.6-liter formula:
- a guarantee of supply to teams
- the need to reduce the engines’ cost
- simplification of the specification
- “improved noise”
Further meetings between the manufacturers and the governing body are scheduled, including one this weekend at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix season finale.
As F1 heads into the final weekend of the season, political/paddock items such as Red Bull and Toro Rosso’s respective power unit futures, whether Renault’s takeover of Lotus will finally become official and what will happen with Manor’s team leadership stake – this marks Graeme Lowdon and John Booth’s final weekends although ex-McLaren man Dave Ryan has been hired as the team’s new racing director – are among the talking points.
You couldn’t make this stuff up.
Dominant GP2 Series champion Stoffel Vandoorne had his first go in a Super Formula car at Suzuka on Wednesday, but the engine woes that have hampered his Formula 1 team’s efforts (McLaren) all season appear to be equal opportunity woes.
Vandoorne only completed a limited day of running due to technical issues; naturally, and in an unfortunate coincidence, the Super Formula cars also have Honda power.
The Belgian is now en route from Japan to Abu Dhabi, where this weekend’s final round of the GP2 season will be held alongside the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Wandsworth Council’s Community Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee voted seven to four late Tuesday night, in favor of retaining the FIA Formula E event in Battersea Park.
This will see the London ePrix – the season finale for the electric open-wheel championship – continue at the site for at least the next two seasons.
The 2016 race will run July 2-3, to avoid a direct head-to-head clash with the British Grand Prix a week later in Silverstone.
Battersea Park’s race faced local opposition in recent weeks, which put the race under threat.