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Paul di Resta to make Rolex 24 debut with United Autosports

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Mercedes DTM driver and Williams Formula 1 reserve Paul di Resta will enter the Rolex 24 at Daytona for the first time in January with United Autosports.

One-time DTM champion di Resta raced in F1 full-time for four seasons before returning to the German touring car series in 2014, and is currently in contention for a racing return with Williams F1 for 2018.

Di Resta will get his first taste of sports car racing when he enters the Rolex 24 in January at Daytona International Speedway, joining United Autosports’ two-car effort.

“I’m really looking forward to racing at Daytona and with United Autosports. I’ve never done a 24-hour race and never raced a prototype so it’s all new to me, but I’m looking forward to the challenge,” di Resta said.

“Entering a 24-hour race is something I’ve looked at doing before and when asked, I jumped at the opportunity. The Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona is getting bigger every year, so it’s great to be part of it.

“I plan to do some testing ahead of the race to get integrated into the team and to get a shot at driving the car prior to heading to Daytona in January.”

Zak Brown, team owner and chairman of United Autosports added: “I’m pleased we have managed to pull together a deal for Paul to join the team at Daytona.

“Although he’s not driven our car before, he’s had plenty of racing experience in different categories so I’m confident he will have a good race and enjoy being with the team.”

Di Resta will race alongside Will Owen in one of United Autosports’ Ligier JS P217 cars, with Lando Norris and Philip Hanson also confirmed to be part of the team’s line-up.

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.