Final Rolex 24 at Daytona entry list features 49 cars

Rolex 24 entry
IMSA
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With the 59th annual running of the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona only three days away, the final entry list for the race stands at 49 cars.

The Action Express Racing No. 31 Cadillac will lead to the green flag Saturday, Jan. 30. Felipe Nasr and Pipo Derani won the Motul 100 to earn the pole. This was the first time in series history that the Rolex 24 lineup was set by a qualification race. The Motul 100 was limited to two drivers. Chase Elliott and Mike Conway will join Nasr and Derani in the race.

Most DPi teams feature a full complement of four drivers, but three Daytona Prototype (DPi) entries are listed with three. They are Chip Ganassi Racing’s No. 01, Mustang Sampling’s No. 5 and Mazda Motorsports No. 55, who will line up second for the race.

Ganassi’s entry no longer has IndyCar driver Marcus Ericsson listed ow that Renger van der Zande was cleared to race following quarantine.

ENTRY LIST:  49 cars scheduled to take the green flag

VIEWER’S GUIDE: How and where to watch the 59th Rolex 24 on NBC Sports

Both Corvette Racing entries also have three drivers listed in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class.

The DPi class features seven entries and includes defending NASCAR Cup champion Elliott making his Rolex 24 Hour debut, Jimmie Johnson (who retired from full-time NASCAR racing last year), Alexander Rossi, Simon Pagenaud and Scott Dixon. Juan Pablo Montoya and AJ Allmendinger also provide starpower in this division as Meyer Shank Racing moves up to the DPi ranks.

The Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2) class features 10 entries with notable racers Austin Dillon, Ryan Dalziel, Robert Kubica and Rinus Veekay behind the wheel.

The Le Mans Prototype 3 (LMP3) class features seven entries that include drivers Joao Barbosa, Gabby Chaves and Jeroen Bleekemolen.

GT Le Mans (GTLM) has six entries including Jordan Taylor, Jesse Krohn, Tommy Milner and Timo Glock.

The GT Daytona (GTD) class is the largest in terms of entries with 19. Notable drivers include Zach Veach, Townsend Bell, JR Hildebrand, Andy Lally, Ed Jones (who this week was tagged to race full time in the IndyCar series with Dale Coyne Racing and Vasser Sullivan Racing), Ryan Briscoe and Katherine Legge.

The original entry list was slated to be 50 cars, which would have been the most since 2018. Unfortunately, Black Swan Racing was forced to pull out of the GTD class when car owner and driver Tim Pappas tested positive for novel coronavirus (COVID-19) following the 24 Hours of Dubai.

Other alterations to the entry list related to the COVID-19 virus include a driver change in the No. 51 RWR-Eurasia team as Sven Mueller has been pressed into service as a replacement for Mathieu Jaminet. This team also features NASCAR drivers Dillon and Cody Ware.

Click here to view the entry list for the 59th annual Rolex 24.

Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
Align Media
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ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).

“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.

“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”

For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.

“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.

“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”

Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.

“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.