TUSC: Rolex 24 entry list update, one-plus week out

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There’s been a flurry of TUDOR United SportsCar Championship driver and team announcements over the last few weeks, and chances are, you probably missed some of them.

Luckily, we’re here for you to recap how the field is looking for the 2014 Rolex 24 at Daytona, which opens the TUDOR Championship calendar. We gathered an initial one in December, after the full entry list reveal and noting which teams we’ll miss. Things have changed since, and there are still a handful of teams yet to confirm their lineups.

In the P class, SpeedSource Mazda has two yet-to-be-announced drivers of an IndyCar bend that will be revealed in due course, while the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup-only Highway to Help squad is yet to officially confirm any of its drivers.

The all-ORECA FLM09 PC class is more fluid with 8Star Motorsports (No. 25), Performance Tech Motorsports (No. 38), BAR1 Motorsports (No. 87 and 88), RSR Racing (No. 08 and 09) and Level 5 Motorsports (No. 551 and 552) yet to complete all the pieces to their pro-am lineup puzzles.

GTLM has only one team yet to reveal its lineup: the NAEC-only entered factory Aston Martin Vantage, which has had some factory drivers and one pro-am driver (Paul Dalla Lana) behind the wheel of its No. 97 car.

The GTD class, which has the highest projected car count, still sees seats yet to be officially revealed at Muehlner Motorsports America (No. 18 and 19), TRG-AMR North America (No. 007 and 009) and NAEC-only Ferrari teams Spirit of Race (No. 49 and 51) and SMP/ESM Racing (No. 72) are yet to formally confirm their lineups. Some seats have been filled and for all the above entries, you figure most if not all drivers that tested at the Roar Before the Rolex 24 Jan. 3-5 will race the Rolex 24 Jan. 25-26.

Anyway, the rest of the field, with team (with story link to its specific driver/team confirmation if applicable), car, its 2013 class, driver lineup and confirmed races:

P

  • DeltaWing Racing Cars (DeltaWing DWC13): 0-Andy Meyrick/Katherine Legge/Alexander Rossi (Rolex 24)
  • Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (Ford Ecoboost Riley, DP): 01-Scott Pruett/Memo Rojas (full season)/Sage Karam/Jamie McMurray (Rolex 24); 02-Scott Dixon/Tony Kanaan/Kyle Larson/Marino Franchitti (Rolex 24); NAEC-only entry
  • Extreme Speed Motorsports (HPD ARX-03b, P2): 1-Ryan Dalziel/Scott Sharp (full season)/David Brabham (endurance races); 2-Ed Brown/Johannes van Overbeek (full season)/Simon Pagenaud/Anthony Lazzaro (endurance races)
  • Action Express Racing (Corvette DP, DP): 5-Joao Barbosa/Christian Fittipaldi (full season)/Sebastien Bourdais (endurance races); 9-Burt Frisselle/Brian Frisselle/Fabien Giroix/Stefan Johansson/John Martin (Rolex 24); NAEC-only entry
  • Muscle Milk Pickett Racing (ORECA 03 Nissan, P2): 6-Klaus Graf/Lucas Luhr (full season)/Alex Brundle (Rolex 24)
  • Wayne Taylor Racing (Corvette DP, DP): 10-Jordan Taylor/Ricky Taylor (full season)/Max Angelelli (endurance races)/Wayne Taylor (Rolex 24)
  • Marsh Racing (Corvette DP, DP): 31-Eric Curran/Boris Said (full season)/Max Papis/Bradley Smith (Rolex 24)
  • OAK Racing (Morgan Nissan, P2): 42-Gustavo Yacaman (full season)/Olivier Pla/Roman Rusinov (Rolex 24)
  • Michael Shank Racing (Ford Ecoboost Riley, DP): 60-Ozz Negri/John Pew (full season)/AJ Allmendinger/Justin Wilson (Rolex 24)
  • SpeedSource (Mazda SKYACTIV-D Coupe, P2): 70-Sylvain Tremblay/Tom Long (full season); 07-Tristan Nunez/Joel Miller (full season)
  • Spirit of Daytona Racing (Corvette DP, DP): 90-Richard Westbrook/Michael Valiante (full season)/Mike Rockenfeller (Rolex 24)
  • GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing (Corvette DP, DP): 99-Alex Gurney/Jon Fogarty (all NAEC races)/Memo Gidley/Darren Law (endurance races)

PC (All ORECA FLM09)

  • Starworks Motorsport: 7 or 8-Isaac Tutumlu/Mirco Schultis/Renger van der Zande (full season)/Eric Lux/Rob Huff/Sam Bird (endurance races)
  • 8Star Motorsports: 25-Tom Kimber-Smith (endurance races)
  • PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports: 52-Mike Guasch (full season)/David Cheng/Tomy Drissi/James Kovacic (Rolex 24)
  • CORE autosport: 54-Jon Bennett/Colin Braun (full season)/Mark Wilkins (Rolex 24)
  • BAR1 Motorsports: 87 or 88-Sean Rayhall (full season)
  • RSR Racing: 08-Bruno Junqueira/Duncan Ende (full season)/David Heinemeier Hansson/Gustavo Menezes (endurance races); 09-Chris Cumming (full season)/Rusty Mitchell/Conor Daly (Rolex 24)
  • JDC/Miller: 85-Chris Miller (2nd Alternate)

GTLM

  • Corvette Racing (Corvette C7.R, ALMS GT): 3-Antonio Garcia/Jan Magnussen (full season)/Ryan Briscoe (endurance races); 4-Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner (full season)/Robin Liddell (endurance races)
  • Team Falken Tire (Porsche 911 RSR, ALMS GT): 17-Bryan Sellers/Wolf Henzler (full season; NOT at Rolex 24)
  • BMW Team RLL (BMW Z4 GTLM, ALMS GT): 55-Bill Auberlen/Andy Priaulx (full season)/Maxime Martin/Joey Hand (Rolex 24);  56-Dirk Mueller/John Edwards (full season)/Graham Rahal/Dirk Werner (Rolex 24)
  • Krohn Racing (Ferrari F458 Italia, ALMS GT): 57-Tracy Krohn/Nic Jonsson (all NAEC races)/Andrea Bertolini/Peter Dumbreck (Rolex 24)
  • Risi Competizione (Ferrari F458 Italia, ALMS GT): 62-Matteo Malucelli (full season)/Gianmaria Bruni/Giancarlo Fisichella (Rolex 24)
  • SRT Motorsports (SRT Viper GTS-R, ALMS GT): 91-Dominik Farnbacher/Marc Goossens (full season)/Ryan Hunter-Reay (endurance races); 93-Jonathan Bomarito/Kuno Wittmer (full season)/Rob Bell (endurance races)
  • Porsche North America (Porsche 911 RSR, ALMS GT): 911-Nick Tandy/Richard Lietz (full season)/Patrick Pilet (Rolex 24); 912-Patrick Long/Michael Christensen (full season)/Jorg Bergmeister (Rolex 24)

GTD

  • Alex Job Racing (Porsche 911 GT America, New Car): 22-Cooper MacNeil/Leh Keen (full season)/L-P Dumoulin/Shane van Gisbergen (Rolex 24)
  • AJR/Team Seattle (Porsche 911 GT America, New Car): 23-Ian James/Mario Farnbacher (full season)/Alex Riberas/Marco Holzer (Rolex 24)
  • Dempsey Racing, with Konrad Motorsport partnership on No. 28 (Porsche 911 GT America, New Car): 27-Patrick Dempsey/Andrew Davis (full season)/Joe Foster/Marc Lieb (Rolex 24); 28-Klaus Bachler/Christian Englehart/Franz Konrad/Rolf Ineichen/Lance Willsey (Rolex 24)
  • NGT Motorsport (Porsche 911 GT America, New Car): 30-Henrique Cisneros/Kuba Giermaziak (full season)/Christina Nielsen/Fred Makowiecki (Rolex 24)
  • GMG Racing: (Audi R8, Rolex GT): 32-James Sofronas/Alex Welch/Marc Basseng/Frank Stippler (Rolex 24)
  • Riley Motorsports (SRT Viper GT3-R, New Car): 33-Jeroen Bleekemolen/Ben Keating (full season)/Sebastiaan Bleekemolen/Emmanuel Collard (endurance races)
  • Flying Lizard Motorsports: (Audi R8, Rolex GT): 35-Dion von Moltke/Seth Neiman/Filipe Albuqerque/Alessandro Latif (Rolex 24); 45-Spencer Pumpelly/Nelson Canache (full season)/Markus Winkelhock/Tim Pappas (Rolex 24)
  • Magnus Racing (Porsche 911 GT America, New Car): 44-John Potter/Andy Lally (full season)/Wolf Henzler/J-F Dumoulin (Rolex 24)
  • Fall-Line Motorsports (Audi R8, Rolex GT): 46-Charles Espenlaub/Charlie Putman (full season)/Oliver Jarvis/James Walker (Rolex 24)
  • Paul Miller Racing (Audi R8, Rolex GT): 48-Bryce Miller (full season)/Matt Bell/Rene Rast/Christopher Haase (Rolex 24)
  • Snow Racing (Porsche 911 GT America, New Car): 58-Jan Heylen/Madison Snow/Marco Seefried (Rolex 24)
  • Scuderia Corsa (Ferrari 458, Rolex GT): 63-Alessandro Balzan/Jeff Westphal (full season)/Toni Vilander/Lorenzo Case (Rolex 24); 64-Dr. Rod Randall/Ken Wilden (full season)/John Farano/David Empringham (Rolex 24)
  • Park Place Motorsports (Porsche 911 GT America, New Car): 71-Dr. Jim Norman/Craig Stanton (full season)/Timo Bernhard/Norbert Siedler (Rolex 24); 73-Kevin Estre/Patrick Lindsey (full season)
  • GB Autosport (Porsche 911 GT America, New Car): 81-Damien Faulkner (full season)/Bob Faieta (races to be confirmed)/Patrick Huisman/Michael Avenatti (Rolex 24)
  • Turner Motorsport (BMW Z4 GT3, New Car): 94-Dane Cameron/Paul Dalla Lana (full season)/Augusto Farfus/Markus Palttala (Rolex 24)
  • TRG-AMR (Aston Martin Vantage GT3, Rolex GT): 007 or 009-James Davison (full season); Al Carter/David Block (races to be confirmed); 009-Calum Lockie (Rolex 24)
  • Level 5 Motorsports (Ferrari 458, Rolex GT): 555 or 556-Bill Sweedler/Townsend Bell (full season), Jeff Segal (full season, car to be confirmed)

Heather Lyne, Dennis Erb Jr. make history in the World of Outlaws Late Model Series

Lyne Erb Outlaws Late
Jacy Norgaard / World of Outlaws
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More than two decades in the making, the pairing of Heather Lyne and Dennis Erb Jr. produced a historical milestone in Dirt Late Model.

Last month, Erb and his long-time crew chief Lyne won their first World of Outlaws Late Model Championship and with this achievement, Lyne became the first female crew chief to win in a national late model series. Their journey together goes back 21 years and tells the story of hard work, persistence and belief in oneself.

After a career-best season with the World of Outlaws, Erb and Lyne secured the points championship at US 36 Raceway in Osborn, Mo. with three races remaining in the season. The consistency and success of their season came down to pinpoint focus. Lyne and Erb are a team of two living out a David vs. Goliath tale. In order to be as successful as possible this year the duo knew they had to do as much as possible with the resources they had.

“It’s always a challenge when you only have two people, both at the racetrack and at the shop,” Lyne told NBC Sports. “I also work full time, so during the day, Dennis has to do a significant amount of work so that when I get down there I can start working and maintaining. It’s planning ahead. It’s having that system in place and making sure that you’re prepared ahead of time.

“When you have a problem at the track, making sure you have all that stuff ready so it’s a quick change and not a lengthy process to make a repair. We had zero DNFs in the World of Outlaws, we had only one DNF out of 96 races [combined among all series].”

Dennis Erb clinched his 2022 championship before the World of Outlaws World Finals. Jacy Norgaard – World of Outlaws Late Model Series.

Taming Time

This was not an easy feat. Between a full travel schedule and Lyne’s full-time job as an engineer, time comes at a premium. What they lack in time and resources they made up for in patience and planning.

“We buckled down, and we got all the equipment that we needed back, motors freshened, and things of that nature,” Lyne said about the mid-point of last season. “We were able to keep up with that. We just had a higher focus. I tried to reduce my hours at my day job as much as I possibly could while still maintaining what I need to get done at work. I got rid of a lot of the other distractions and got a more refined system in place at the shop.

“We did certain tasks on certain days so we had time to recover. We were on the road a little bit more, as opposed to coming home to the shop. So we had to be more prepared to stay out on those longer runs. It was just really staying on top of things a little more. It was a heightened sense.”

This was Lyne and Erb’s fourth full season with the Outlaws, but they’ve been on the road together for the last 21 seasons starting in 2001. Their partnership began with Lyne’s bravery. When one door closed, she was quick to open another. In 2001, Lyne’s dad was ready to stop racing. Her mother wanted to regain her weekends, but Lyne knew this was her life path and wasn’t prepared to lose it.

“I’ve always been a tomboy at heart,” Lyne said. “I watched racing with my dad. Growing up he watched NASCAR. In high school, I got tired of playing at the lake house, so I went to the local dirt track and fell in love with it. I just couldn’t get enough. It took a year for me to convince my dad to come to the track with me. He finally did and we sponsored a car that year, the following year he started to race limited cars. He ran hobby stocks and limited late models.”

At some point, Lyne and her father’s level of commitment drifted apart.

“He did it for about five years,” Lyne said. “And then my mom said: ‘I’m done racing. I want my weekends back. It’s just not fun anymore.’ I wasn’t ready to hang up my wenches and Dennis raced out of the same hometown so I, on a dare, went down and introduced myself; told him if you ever need any help, I’ll drill out rivets, I’ll help wash, whatever you need. Twenty-one years later here I am.”

Heather Lyne became the first female crew chief to secure a national touring late model championship in 2022. Paul Arch / World of Outlaws Late Model Series.

Breaking Through

Lyne entered a male-dominated job in a field that is also male-dominated – and where there were few examples of women creating these places for themselves. In this way, Lyne became a blueprint for other women as they strive to find a place for themselves in racing and in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) overall. She has her mother to thank for providing a strong role model, her father for sharing her passion, Erb for taking a chance on an unknow entity and most importantly herself.

“I was raised to believe that I can do anything, I want to do, as long as I put my heart and soul into it.” Lyne replied when asked about role models in the sport growing up. “My parents did not raise me to have that limitation. But from a racing role model perspective, I went in there completely green and just introduced myself to Dennis, the fact that he was brave enough to take that risk and bring a girl to the racetrack. Someone he didn’t know at all speaks volumes for him.”

Lyne and Erb have learned how to survive and succeed with each other on the road. They do this by leveraging decades of combined experience and an ability to adapt to the everchanging landscape of dirt late models. Next year the World of Outlaws visits nearly a dozen new tracks and Lyne sees it as an opportunity for continued success.

“I just want to do it again,” Lyne says going into next season, “I’m looking forward to the competition, I always do. I wouldn’t do it if I wasn’t competitively driven.

“There are some new tracks on the schedule that I’m looking forward to trying for the first time that I haven’t been to myself,” Lyne said of the 2023 season, “Dennis seems to do well on those first timers. We won out at Marion center, we finished second at Bloomsburg. We have a good solid notebook of information to tackle them over the last three years with these rocket race cars that we’re running. It’s good to have that information and leverage it to try some new things.”