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.

Toyota No. 8 car wins the 24 Hours of Le Mans for third consecutive year

24 Hours of Le Mans
JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP via Getty Images
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LE MANS, France — Toyota Gazoo’s No. 8 car comfortably won the 24 Hours of Le Mans by five laps Sunday to secure a third straight victory in the prestigious endurance race.

It was also a third consecutive win for Swiss driver Sebastien Buemi and Japan’s Kazuki Nakajima driving. Brendon Hartley was the other driver, having replaced two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso.

Buemi and Hartley sat on the side of the car as Nakajima drove toward the podium. Hartley won for a second time after tasting success with the Porsche LMP Team in 2017 before an unhappy season in Formula One.

The Swiss team’s Rebellion No. 1 featured American driver Gustavo Menezes and Brazilian Bruno Senna – the nephew of late F1 great Ayrton Senna.

It finished one lap ahead of Toyota Gazoo’s No. 7, with Rebellion’s No. 3 finishing in fourth place.

For much of the race it looked like Toyota’s No. 7 would win after leading comfortably from pole position. But late into the night the car encountered an engine problem and the 30-minute stop in the stands proved costly.

The race was first held in 1923. A total of 252,500 spectators attended in 2019, but there were none this year when the race started three months late because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“We miss the fans,” New Zealander Hartley said. “I look forward to seeing all the fans again.”

In other divisions:

United Autosports won the LMP2 division with the entry of Filipe Albuquerque, Paul Di Resta and Phil Hanson.

–In LMGTE Pro, the victory was claimed by Aston Martin Vantage AMR of Maxime Martin, Alex Lynn and Harry Tincknell (who drives for Mazda in the DPi division of IMSA).

–TF Sport won the LMGTE Am class.

The Toyota No. 7 took pole after former F1 driver Kamui Kobayashi narrowly edged out the Rebellion No. 1 team in qualifying.

In damp and humid conditions Mike Conway got away cleanly from the start, while Senna held off Buemi.

After nearly seven hours, Toyota’s No. 8 fell back after a 10-minute stop in the stands to fix a brake-cooling problem on Kazuki Nakajima’s car. Rebellion’s No. 1, driven by Frenchman Norman Nato, took advantage to move into second place behind Toyota’s No. 7.

Then came the decisive moment at 2:40 a.m. as the No. 7 – also featuring Argentine Jose Maria Lopez – encountered a turbo problem. When the car came back out it was back in fourth.

“We had a few problems early in the race,” Nakajima said. “Later they had a bigger issue than us.”

Rebellion’s No. 1 encountered a problem on the hood at around 9 a.m. and the change took six minutes, allowing the Rebellion No. 3 (Nathanael Berthon-Louis Deletraz-Romain Dumas) to close the gap.

It was becoming a tight battle between the two Rebellion cars behind Toyota’s No. 8.

At 12 p.m. Rebellion No. 3 with Dumas behind the wheel was only one second ahead of No. 1 driven by Menezes. Then both cars came in for a driver change with Deletraz swapping for Dumas on a lengthy stop, and Nato for Menezes as Rebellion No. 1 suddenly moved ahead of its team rival.

Dumas, a winner in 2016 with Porsche, appeared unhappy at the strategy decision to bring his car in first and the length of the stop. There were tense explanations in the team garage.

Colombian Tatiana Calderon, an F1 test driver with Alfa Romeo, was in the Richard Mille Racing Team in the LMP2 category. She was joined by German Sophia Florsch – an F3 driver – and Dutchwoman Beitske Visser. They placed ninth out of 24 in their category.