Williams Formula 1 driver Lance Stroll will return to Daytona International Speedway in January for his second entry to the Rolex 24, teaming up with Jackie Chan DCR Jota.
Stroll, 19, made his F1 debut with Williams at the start of the year, having previously made his sports car racing debut at Daytona in 2016 with Chip Ganassi Racing.
After finishing his maiden F1 season 11th overall in the final drivers’ standings, Stroll will now head to Daytona alongside Felix Rosenqvist, Robin Frijns and Daniel Juncadella in a two-car effort from DCR Jota.
“We are going to Daytona to enjoy, compete and of course try and win. I always want to be best and most competitive I can be,” Stroll said.
“I’ll be out there with some of my buddies in the same car and it is going to be a pleasure to do this race again as I just love to race. We are the four young guns so it will be great fun I’m sure because we go way back together.
“A big part of Daytona is who you share the car with so I’m really looking forward to it. There won’t be any fuel or tire management to worry about, and it will be racing hard and racing in traffic which I will enjoy.
“I’ve heard a lot of great things about the Jackie Chan DCR JOTA team so I can’t wait to be a part of it.
“I am really grateful to Williams Martini Racing for realizing I want to keep my racing sharpness through the winter and letting me race at Daytona.”
With Stroll, Rosenqvist, Frijns and Juncadella in one car, the second will feature drivers from DC Racing’s FIA World Endurance Championship line-up.
Dublin, Ireland’s Keith Donegan claimed a $200K scholarship from Mazda after emerging victorious at the second annual Mazda Road to Indy Shootout. The 20-year-old Donegan earned an at-large nomination for the scholarship based on his performance at this year’s Formula Ford Festival, in which he finished second in the final, and emerged from a pack of 17 drivers from across the globe to claim the scholarship.
“It really hasn’t hit me yet,” said an emotional Donegan, who earlier in his career actually spent two years away from racing as he focused on academics. “The weekend was really good and I enjoyed it. I have to say a huge thanks to Mazda and Cooper Tires and everyone at the Mazda Road to Indy. I enjoyed every moment. Throughout the weekend we were consistent and I kept the small things in check. I didn’t make any stupid mistakes and kept my head cool and that really paid off in the end.”
The two-day shootout was held at the Bondurant Racing School in Arizona and saw the nominated drivers tackle the school’s 1.6-mile circuit in Formula Mazda race cars before facing on and off-track assessments. Donegan was selected by a panel of judges that included former driver and current Verizon IndyCar Series TV analyst Scott Goodyear, Mazda drivers Tom Long, Andrew Carbonell, and Jonathan Bomarito, as well as Victor Franzoni – the current champion of the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires – and Oliver Askew, the current champion of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda.
Donegan was humbled to be in the presence of drivers who have won scholarships and championships previously, and added that he is grateful to have the opportunity to continue his racing career.
“You see all these champions here today that will go on to great things in the future and I’m sure the names you see here today aren’t going to disappear,” Donegan added. “They will be back up there and I’m sure I will be racing them again some day. It is an unbelievable opportunity to be given and for Mazda to provide that for any young driver. It just gives that bit of motivation that you need because the [U.S.] is where you need to go to become a professional these days. It is such a boost to my career.”
Donegan is now slated to join the 2018 USF2000 championship, with further announcements regarding the team with whom he’ll be racing to come in the future.