TUSC: Rahal at BMW leads more Rolex 24 confirmations

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A few more Rolex 24 at Daytona lineups have been confirmed in the last 24 to 48 hours. Here’s a quick recap for more of the cars racing in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship opener:

  • Graham Rahal has been confirmed with the BMW Team RLL team in the GTLM class. Rahal will share the No. 56 BMW Z4 GTLM with John Edwards, Dirk Mueller and Dirk Werner; the sister No. 55 car will see Bill Auberlen, Joey Hand, Maxime Martin and Andy Priaulx behind the wheel.
  • Gustavo Yacaman has a full-season deal confirmed with OAK Racing in its No. 42 Morgan Nissan in the P class. The P2-spec car will also feature Olivier Pla, Roman Rusinov and a fourth driver to be named later in for the Rolex 24. Pla is confirmed at OAK for the full season, but it hasn’t been determined what championships he’ll be competing in yet.
  • Marsh Racing’s No. 31 Corvette DP will see full-season drivers Boris Said and Eric Curran joined by Max Papis and Sunoco Challenge winner Bradley Smith at the Rolex 24. The team steps up from the Rolex GT class into DP this season.
  • Via Sportscar365.com, Risi Competizione will feature a lineup of Matteo Malucelli, Giancarlo Fisichella and Gianmaria Bruni in its No. 62 Ferrari F458 Italia in the GTLM class.

Only a handful of teams are yet to confirm their full lineups. We’ll do a recap of who’s where in a separate post later this week.

Ricciardo set to see Dale Jr.’s final Texas ride in two weeks (VIDEO)

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We’ve written before about Daniel Ricciardo’s love of Dale Earnhardt and his love of the No. 3, which Ricciardo has selected as his permanent number for the duration of his Formula 1 career. And additionally, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has offered up the opportunity that one day Ricciardo could race a JR Motorsports car in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition, and Ricciardo has said he’d be up for it.

And although Earnhardt Jr. has only used the No. 3 on a handful of occasions in his career in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Ricciardo knows how much the number means to the NASCAR veteran as he prepares for his final few starts in the Cup Series the tail-end of this year.

After the Mexican Grand Prix next week, Ricciardo is set to stay in North America for the off-week between the Mexican and Brazilian Grands Prix.

In that break, he said he’ll see Earnhardt Jr. in person at the Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway (Sunday, Nov. 5, 2 p.m. ET, NBCSN) to ensure he gets to see him before he retires from full-time competition.

Ricciardo explained his planning during Thursday’s pre-race edition of the NBC Sports Group original digital series Paddock Pass, speaking to NBCSN’s Will Buxton at the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas in Austin.

“Well I’ll see him for the first time in Dallas. I’m gonna go to the NASCAR race in two weeks time at Texas Motor Speedway,” Ricciardo told NBCSN.

“Yeah, so, I gotta see him race before he hangs up the helmet.

“The Earnhardt family is a huge name in motorsport, not only in America but all over the world. Yeah I wish him well.”

Ricciardo is also optimistic he’ll get the chance to do a helmet swap with Earnhardt Jr. at the event.

“Hopefully I get to see him perform well in Texas. I’m gonna try to do a helmet swap with him. We’ll see how we go.”

Stay tuned for more on this over the coming weeks.