TUSC: Full Rolex 24 entry list revealed

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IMSA has released the full, 67-car entry list for the Rolex 24 at Daytona next week. A handful of changes have occurred from our projections and confirmations we forecast earlier this week for the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.

Of note:

  • Indy Lights runner-up Gabby Chaves has been added to the DeltaWing lineup (No. 0 DeltaWing DWC13) as a fourth driver with former Indy Lights driver Oliver Webb confirmed at OAK Racing (No. 42 Morgan Nissan) as its fourth driver.
  • SpeedSource has a pair of 2013 IndyCar drivers, James Hinchcliffe (No. 70) and Tristan Vautier (No. 07) officially listed as third drivers in its pair of Mazda SKYACTIV-D Coupes.
  • Starworks Motorsport has its P car, originally the second alternate, promoted to a race spot with drivers Alex Popow, Scott Mayer and Brendon Hartley (No. 78 Riley-Dinan). Its PC class lineups now are: Popow/Martin Fuentes/Isaac Tutumlu and Kyle Marcelli (No. 7 ORECA FLM09) with Renger van der Zande/Eric Lux/Sam Bird/Pierre Kaffer listed in the No. 8. Rob Huff, Mirco Schultis and ex-IndyCar driver Ana Beatriz have tested for the team, but are not listed.
  • 8Star, Performance Tech, PR1/Mathiasen and CORE have all confirmed their PC class lineups.
  • Announced earlier today, Aston Martin Racing will have the lone five-driver lineup in GTLM. Stefan Mucke, Darren Turner, Pedro Lamy, Richie Stanaway and Paul Dalla Lana will race the No. 97 Vantage; Dalla Lana will also race in the No. 94 Turner Motorsport BMW Z4 GTD in the GTD class.
  • Porsche GTD teams Muehlner Motorsports America (Nos. 18/19) and Alex Job Racing (No. 22) have added drivers to their lineups.
  • The TRG-AMR lineups have James Davison/David Block/Al Carter/Brandon Davis in the No. 007 GT3-spec Vantage and Calum Lockie/Pete McIntosh/Robert Nimkroff/Max Riddle in the sister No. 009.
  • Ferrari’s lineups at Spirit of Race (Nos. 49/51) and SMP/ESM Racing (No. 72) have been set; the latter car includes IndyCar’s Mikhail Aleshin and ex-Formula One driver Mika Salo.
  • The BAR1 (No. 87, PC) and two Level 5 (Nos. 555/556, GTD) cars have TBA’s listed for lineups. The second BAR1 PC and Level 5’s two PCs, which were granted full-season entries on IMSA’s initial list, are not listed here.

F1 2017 driver review: Sebastian Vettel

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Sebastian Vettel

Team: Scuderia Ferrari
Car No.: 5
Races: 20
Wins: 5
Podiums (excluding wins): 8
Pole Positions: 4
Fastest Laps: 5
Points: 317
Laps Led: 286
Championship Position: 2nd

2017 was supposed to be the year Sebastian Vettel finally fulfilled his ambition of emulating Michael Schumacher by returning Ferrari to its championship-winning heyday.

Instead, it ended in disappointment and frustration – once again.

Ferrari arguably made a greater step across the change in technical regulations for 2017 than any other team, living up to its pre-season tag as favorite by winning the opening round in Australia in fashion.

Vettel and Ferrari led their respective championships following the Monaco Grand Prix as the German ended a 16-year win drought for the Prancing Horse in the principality, and even heading into the summer break, a shot at both championships was looking good.

However, cracks had started to appear. Vettel’s remarkable antics behind the safety car in Baku sparked controversy after driving into Hamilton, suggesting the tension of the title fight was beginning to take its toll on the German.

The final run of flyaways was where things really fell apart for Vettel, though. Singapore looked to be a slam-dunk win, only for a start-line crash also involving teammate Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen to put 25 free points in Hamilton’s pocket.

Reliability woes then struck in Malaysia and Japan – two more races Vettel could realistically have won – to make it game over in the title race, with Hamilton wrapping things up in Mexico.

Vettel only finished the year 46 points back from Hamilton, proving the impact the three bad races in Asia had. Realistically, this was a title race that should have gone down to the wire in Abu Dhabi. Instead, Vettel remains a four-time champion, level with Hamilton, who had just one to his name back in 2013 when his rival secured his fourth.

Ferrari’s internal issues will come under the microscope over the off-season, and Vettel himself knows there is plenty to work on. Staying cool under pressure and not letting things boil over as in Baku is the most obvious area for improvement.

But there is reason for hope. If Ferrari can keep up with Mercedes and repeat its impressive step into 2017 through the upcoming off-season, we may well be treated to another Vettel/Hamilton scrap at the front of the field, perhaps settling once and for all who is the greatest driver of the post-Schumacher era.

Season High: A crucial win in Hungary despite battling with a broken steering column.

Season Low: Letting tensions flare in Baku and hitting Hamilton behind the safety car.