Here’s a roundup of what was a busy Monday for sports car news

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The Rolex 24 at Daytona is often considered the most prominent kickoff to a new year’s racing schedule. On Monday, many teams were pushing hard in the announcement game before this week’s Roar Before the Rolex 24, and a flurry of announcements came through.

  • The much-anticipated Roar Before the 24 entry list came out. Further analysis here from Sportscar365.
  • Somewhat surprisingly, Turner Motorsport made a reversal of course in terms of its TUDOR United SportsCar Championship plans, and will return for the full 2015 season with Markus Palttala and Michael Marsal. Andy Priaulx will join for Daytona and Sebring, and a fourth driver, Silver or Bronze-rated, is still to be determined. This sees the renumbered No. 97 BMW Z4 GT3 back to defend its GT Daytona class title it won with Dane Cameron this year.
  • Flying Lizard Motorsports confirmed a single car lineup of Markus Winkelhock, Robert Thorne, Tomonobu Fujii and Satoshi Hoshino. The No. 45 Audi R8 LMS finished a hard-luck second in GTD a year ago and seeks an elusive first Rolex 24 win, in what right now is the team’s only planned TUDOR Championship outing.
  • Starworks Motorsport confirmed two programs. Team principal Peter Baron told the team will feature a star-sudded Riley-Dinan BMW powered Daytona Prototype, which will include Rubens Barrichello, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Brendon Hartley, Tor Graves and Scott Mayer. The team will also run a single Prototype Challenge entry for Renger van der Zande, Mirco Schultis, Mike Hedlund, and a fourth or potentially fifth driver to be named later.
  • Aston Martin Racing will again have a single car for the Rolex 24. Darren Turner, Pedro Lamy and Paul Dalla Lana are 2014 holdovers; Niki Lauda’s son Mathias also joins up, and Stefan Mucke could be added as a fifth driver.
  • Krohn Racing has added Olivier Pla and Alex Brundle to its lineup in the No. 57 Ligier JS P2 Judd alongside Tracy Krohn and Nic Jonsson. The European stars handled the development and testing of the chassis last year and seriously enhance this car’s chances.
  • Another Riley-Dinan BMW, the new RG Racing entry, will have either four or five drivers with Robert Gewirtz, Mark Kvamme and Shane Lewis the team’s first three confirmed drivers. All three ran in the GTD class in 2014; Lewis won the GX class with Napleton Racing in 2013.
  • This was released late Friday night, but Philipp Eng completes the lineup for Dempsey/Wright Motorsports in GTD. Eng joins full-season drivers Jan Heylen and Madison Snow, while third driver Patrick Dempsey should run the full Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup. The team’s No. 58 Porsche 911 GT America will be adorned in the legendary Brumos Porsche colors.
  • Two or three more teams are expected to reveal their lineups this week, from a couple different classes.

Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.