DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – It’s a two-day sports car test, and yet it feels as though an IndyCar race meeting has broken out.
To wit, here’s the IndyCar driver presence at Daytona International Speedway for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship test:
- Sebastien Bourdais is here, ahead of an expected but not-yet-formally-confirmed endurance race role with Chip Ganassi Racing’s Ford GT program.
- The same story is true for Ryan Briscoe, expected to be confirmed as one of the full-season drivers for CGR. Briscoe did a sterling job in a fill-in role for the injured James Hinchcliffe the second half of the IndyCar season.
- A key number of Ganassi’s IndyCar personnel, engineers and crew – as well as Sebastian Saavedra’s setup pad – are present as the team has its two-car Ford GT program off and rolling.
- Fellow Frenchman Simon Pagenaud is here as well, filling Bourdais’ role as the de facto French IndyCar ace ringer at Action Express Racing. Pagenaud is in the team’s No. 31 Corvette DP, and if confirmed for the race, would be that car’s fourth driver along with Dane Cameron, Eric Curran and Jonny Adam.
- Jack Hawksworth is here with Starworks Motorsport, ahead of a planned race start in the Rolex 24 at Daytona. Hawksworth ran with RSR Racing this past season. He’s also due to have formal confirmation shortly of his continuation with A.J. Foyt Enterprises.
- Tristan Vautier is also here, and will test the No. 90 VisitFlorida.com Racing Corvette DP.
- Spencer Pigot, the Indy Lights champ, is testing the No. 70 Mazda Prototype.
- Stefan Wilson, the young rising star who spent several years in Indy Lights, is here pounding the pavement seeking a ride. Wilson is now Silver-rated, and in theory should be more valuable to teams in the Pro-Am PC and GTD classes.
- NBCSN IndyCar analyst Townsend Bell makes his first testing appearance aboard the new Lamborghini Huracán GT3, a “house car” being shared by confirmed Lamborghini drivers.