DragonSpeed will expand its presence in the 2021 IMSA WeatherTech series by fielding a car in the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona for Rinus Veekay, Ben Hanley, Rob Hodes and Garett Grist. The No. 81 will also race in the the three other events of the Michelin Endurance Cup: the 12 Hours of Sebring, Six Hours of the Glen and Petit Le Mans.
Hanley was last year’s Rolex 24 winner in the LMP2 class.
Veekay will make an appearance after earning Rookie of the Year honors in 2020’s IndyCar series, while Hodes and Grist graduate from the European Le Mans Series where they race in the LMP3 class.
Hodes stood on the podium in his LMP2 debut in the Petit Le Mans in 2020.
“I am super thrilled to be entering my first 24-hour race with an outstanding team like DragonSpeed,” Hodes said in a release. “My teammates couldn’t be better. It’s an honor to go racing with drivers of the caliber of my LMP3 partner Garett, Rinus, and Ben. The Rolex will be a great challenge, but I like our chances.”
Veekay’s greatest success in his freshman season in IndyCar came on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course in the the first race of the Harvest Grand Prix. He started on the pole and finished third.
“For my first Rolex 24 I want to compete for the win in our class and I know I can do that with DragonSpeed and this exciting driver lineup,” Veekay said. “I can’t wait for my IMSA debut, and the chance to fight for the top step of the LMP2 podium.”
In a tweet, Veekay added, “Christmas came early this year!”
— Rinus VeeKay (@rinusveekay) December 22, 2020
In addition to winning the LMP2 class in 2020 Rolex 24 with an overall finish of ninth, Hanley scored another class victory at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis. He was eight overall in that race.
“It’s great to be heading back to Daytona in the 81 car to go for another win in LMP2 with such an impressive group of new teammates along with our incredibly dedicated and loyal crew,” Hanley said. “We’re all hoping for the pandemic to ease off a bit in time for the Roar Before the 24 test starting on January 22nd. I’m looking forward to the new format for the Roar as well as my fourth Rolex 24.”
DragonSpeed has won the LMP2 class in the Rolex 24 Hours for the past two years. In addition to Hanley’s win in 2020, they scored the class victory in 2019 and a sixth-place overall finish. That team was anchored by Roberto Gonzalez and Pasto Maldonado.