One of the highlights of the Rolex 24 at Daytona that kicks off the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season is the fact a healthy number of IndyCar and NASCAR stars can moonlight for a weekend in sports cars.
Expect Verizon IndyCar Series stars James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Hunter-Reay to figure into the equation in some capacity, although not with the same teams they were in 2014.
Hinchcliffe has been with the SpeedSource Mazda team the last three seasons, but won’t be back with the SKYACTIV-D diesel LMP2 prototype for another year.
In the last three Rolex 24s, SpeedSource has campaigned the venerable but aging RX-8, the one-off Mazda6 diesel that struggled in its debut, and the P2 car last year for its first go – which wasn’t on pace but did at least last much longer in the race.
“It’s still TBD, but we have some things in the pipeline,” Hinchcliffe told MotorSportsTalk in an interview after his first IndyCar test with new team Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.
“The program is still up in the air, but I’m pretty confident will get something sorted. (Not having it be experimental) is something to take into consideration, and we’ll see how it pans out.”
SpeedSource has already confirmed a full-season lineup of team returnee Jonathan Bomarito alongside Tom Long, Tristan Nunez and Joel Miller, with team principal Sylvain Tremblay and Ben Devlin set for endurance races.
Hunter-Reay, meanwhile, could wind up anywhere given the SRT Motorsports program he drove for in the 2014 endurance races has closed its doors and withdrawn the pair of factory Dodge Viper SRT GTS-Rs.
“We’re working on our details for the Rolex and Sebring, and we should hopefully have some news on that soon,” he told MotorSportsTalk after seeing his face unveiled on the Borg-Warner Trophy. “It should be a busy January through March before the (IndyCar) season starts.”
As both are Honda-powered IndyCar drivers, there’s a shot that if another Honda-powered prototype was to enter the race besides the pair of Extreme Speed Motorsports HPD ARX-04bs, either could wind up there.
Hunter-Reay has also driven for Wayne Taylor Racing as its third driver in 2013, and finished second co-driving with Jordan Taylor and Max Angelelli that year.