Rast in Formula E. Photo: Getty Images

International aces Rene Rast, Sam Bird added to Rolex 24 lineup

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The driver roster for the 55th Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona continues to grow.

This week, two more teams announced additions to their respective driver lineups.

VISIT FLORIDA Racing has added German driver Rene Rast to its team. Rast will join Belgian driver Marc Goossens and Dutch driver Renger van der Zande in the No. 90 Gibson-powered Riley Mk. 30 in the Prototype class.

Rast has outstanding credentials, particularly in the Rolex 24, having won the GT class for Magnus Racing in both 2012 and 2016.

Photo courtesy of IMSA
Rast. Photo courtesy of IMSA

He also finished second in the LMP2 class in the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans for G-Drive Racing. He also won in LMP2 at Bahrain and earned podium finishes at Silverstone and Circuit of the Americas.

Rast is also a two-time winner of the 24 Hours at Spa and the 24 Hours of Nurburgring.

“The Rolex 24 is one of my favorite races during the year and I can’t wait for the action to begin,” Rast said in a media release. “I have won the Rolex 24 now two times but not overall. My big dream was always to one day win it overall.”

Scuderia Corsa, whose Ferrari 488 GT3 makes its Daytona, also added to its driver lineup.

Sam Bird
Bird. Photo courtesy of IMSA

Ferrarri factory driver Sam Bird completes the lineup and will join 2016 IMSA and NAEC GT-Daytona champions Christina Nielsen and Alessandro Balzan, along with confirmed third driver Matteo Cressoni.

Bird earned two victories last season in the WEC, piloting a Ferrari 488 GTE, and was a key component of Scuderia’s WEC Manufacturer championship.

As for Cressoni, he previously drove for Scuderia Corsa in the 2014 Petit Le Mans.

Scuderia Corsa is defending champion of the IMSA and North American Endurance Cup GT-Daytona championships.

“With this driver lineup and the proven success of the 488 GT3, I am confident that Scuderia Corsa will defend our Championships this year. The GTD field has expanded this season to factory entries and we welcome the challenge” Scuderia Corsa team owner Giacomo Mattioli said. “2017 marks the 70th anniversary for Ferrari and there is no better way to celebrate than success at the race track, where it all began.”

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IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
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The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.