TUSC: Saturday Roar News and Notes

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There have been more driver confirmations on a much warmer Saturday in Daytona for the Roar Before the Rolex 24. Here’s Friday’s morning news and notes, then end-of-day wrap. Meanwhile, here’s the latest round of updates:

  • Mazda has confirmed the same four full season drivers as were in its GX class Mazda6s last year. Sylvain Tremblay and Tom Long (No. 70) and youngsters Tristan Nunez and Joel Miller (No. 07) will be in the manufacturer’s two SKYACTIV-D P2 prototypes this year. The SpeedSource-run team is yet to confirm additional drivers for the endurance races.
  • Michael Shank Racing, unsurprisingly, has confirmed AJ Allmendinger and Justin Wilson alongside its usual pairing of Ozz Negri and John Pew in the team’s No. 60 Ford EcoBoost Riley Daytona Prototype for the Rolex 24. ‘Dinger and Wilson, former Champ Car teammates at RuSPORT, have driven together at Shank four times previously (2006, 2011-‘13), and the quartet won overall in 2012. Additionally, the team has confirmed commercial partnerships with Roberts Service Group and CRC Industries.
  • The above prototype signings mean that only four teams: Marsh Racing (No. 31 Corvette DP), OAK Racing (No. 42 Morgan Nissan P2), Highway to Help (No. 50 Riley DP) and SpeedSource (Nos. 07/70 Mazda SKYACTIV-D P2s) are yet to announce their full, finalized lineups. The DeltaWing team may add a fourth driver as well.
  • Dempsey Racing confirmed Porsche factory pilot Marc Lieb as its fourth and final driver for the Rolex 24, in the team’s No. 27 Porsche 911 GT America in the GT Daytona class.

Updates will follow with any further news or notes.

Daniel Ricciardo would relish being Lewis Hamilton’s teammate

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BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — Daniel Ricciardo says he would relish the challenge of having Lewis Hamilton as his teammate if he joins Mercedes next year.

Ricciardo is out of contract at Red Bull at the end of the season and expressed interest in joining teams like Mercedes or Ferrari to help him challenge for the championship.

The Australian says he would “love to obviously be challenged against the best and Lewis is obviously up there.”

He adds: “I don’t want to say it’s just Lewis I’m looking for but that would be a good challenge.”

Ricciardo says he won’t accept a faster car if it means playing second fiddle to an established star.

He says “there’s always been really good clarity and fairness (at Red Bull) … and I would expect that environment everywhere.”