Wednesday, Feb 08

It’s Official: Rolex 24 Entry List Loaded with Tech and Talent

IMSA Wire Wednesday, Jan 25 303
It’s Official: Rolex 24 Entry List Loaded with Tech and Talent IMSA Wire Photo

It’s not just the sophistication and technical relevance of the cars competing in the Rolex 24 At Daytona this week that has piqued interest in the 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship opener to heights unseen in years. It’s also the outstanding list of drivers from all over the world who will battle for 24 hours for the right to earn one of the most prestigious prizes in motorsport.

 

The 61st running of the twice-around-the-clock spectacle at Daytona International Speedway features the rebirth of the heralded Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) class, but with a major state-of-the-art twist. The nine prototypes entered in GTP contain an electrified hybrid powertrain system paired with an internal combustion engine designed by each of the four global auto manufacturers. The anticipation for the actual racing debut of these forward-thinking machines has been, well, electric.

 

Four other competition classes will be in the heralded race as well – Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2), Le Mans Prototype 3 (LMP3), GT Daytona Pro (GTD PRO) and GT Daytona (GTD) – making for a jam-packed field of 61 cars (appropriate for the 61st running) eager to get started in what’s considered a traditional worldwide kickoff for the racing season. And with the list of drivers and teams involved, it’s no wonder that the Rolex 24 grabs international attention.

 

Of the 234 drivers on the entry list, 62 are past Rolex 24 overall or class winners. More than three dozen have conquered the 24 Hours of Le Mans. There are three past Indianapolis 500 winners and even the reigning Daytona 500 champion from NASCAR.

 

NBC Sports has complete race coverage beginning on NBC network at 1:30 p.m. ET Saturday. Stints will follow on USA Network (2:30-8 p.m. Saturday; 10-11:59 p.m. Saturday and 6 a.m.-noon Sunday) before returning to NBC for the dramatic conclusion from noon-2 p.m. Sunday. Peacock, IMSA’s livestream home, has flag-to-flag coverage of all 24 hours in the U.S. The international livestream is available in most countries outside the U.S. at IMSA.com/TVLive. IMSA Radio also has complete coverage.

 

Five Classes, Each Racing for Rolex Watches

 

Four of the five winning teams from the 2022 Rolex 24 return in their classes, though each has gone through some change and the competition level has been raised across the board:

 

Grand Touring Prototype (nine cars entered): Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian used the win last year in the discontinued Daytona Prototype international (DPi) class as a springboard to the season championship. Now the No. 60 starts anew with the new hybrid-based car, the No. 60 Acura ARX-06, and things appear promising. Tom Blomqvist converted a last-lap dash to win the Motul Pole Award in qualifying on Sunday; that after the No. 60 sat atop the speed chart for most of the Roar Before the Rolex 24 test sessions.

 

Blomqvist, Helio Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud return to defend the 2022 victory, with Colin Braun filling out the lineup as Blomqvist’s season-long co-driver. Competition will be stiff, however, as Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport races its own Acura ARX-06, Porsche Penske Motorsport enters a pair of Porsche 963s, BMW M Team RLL has two BMW M Hybrid V8s, and Cadillac enters three cars – two from Chip Ganassi Racing and a third from Action Express Racing.

 

Le Mans Prototype 2 (10 cars entered): The winning team from a year ago (DragonSpeed USA) isn’t back, but two of the winning drivers are. Eric Lux and Devlin DeFrancesco have moved to the No. 51 Rick Ware Racing ORECA LMP2 07, where they’re joined by Formula 1 driver Pietro Fittipaldi and Austin Cindric, the 2022 Daytona 500 winner.

 

WeatherTech Championship LMP2 season champion John Farano is back in the No. 8 Tower Motorsport ORECA and has aligned himself with a trio of impressive open-wheel drivers in Josef Newgarden, Scott McLaughlin and Kyffin Simpson. And never overlook Ben Keating and the No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports entry. Keating claimed the LMP2 Motul Pole Award on Sunday and leads the two-time reigning IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup class champions.

 

Le Mans Prototype 3 (nine cars entered): Riley Motorsports is seeking a Rolex 24 three-peat in this class, as is driver Gar Robinson in the No. 74 Ligier JS P320. Felipe Fraga joined Robinson in last year’s win and they’ll have a pair of new co-drivers this year in Glenn van Berlo (younger brother of Kay, who was part of the No. 74 winner in 2022) and Josh Burdon.

 

Other LMP3 entries to watch include: the No. 33 Sean Creech Motorsport Ligier, whose lineup includes four-time Rolex 24 winner Joao Barbosa and won the LMP3 pole behind 18-year-old Nico Pino; the No. 36 Andretti Autosport Ligier that won the ’22 season finale, the Motul Petit Le Mans; and the No. 85 Duqueine D08 from JDC-Miller Motorsports, which is using this race as a tune-up while the team awaits delivery of its Porsche 963 GTP car later this spring.

 

GT Daytona Pro (10 cars entered): Variety is the spice in this GT3-specification class, with eight manufacturers represented. The race-winning Pfaff Motorsports team returns, but with a completely new driver lineup (Klaus Bachler, Patrick Pilet and Laurens Vanthoor) and a new 992 generation version of the Porsche 911 GT3 R.

 

Fan favorite Corvette Racing looks to reclaim the top of the Rolex 24 podium after last winning in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class in 2021. The No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R GTD drivers – Antonio Garcia, Jordan Taylor and Tommy Milner – are all past winners of the race.

 

Maro Engel, a past Rolex 24 winner himself, put the No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 on the class pole in qualifying, though it will start the race behind three GT Daytona (GTD) cars that turned faster laps. A late revision to the entry list finds the No. 53 MDK Motorsports Porsche, originally slated to compete in GTD, moving to the GTD PRO class. The MDK lineup is anchored by four-time IMSA season champion and four-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Jan Magnussen.

 

GT Daytona (23 cars entered): The largest class in the field returns the defending winner in Wright Motorsports and three drivers from that No. 16 Porsche – Ryan Hardwick, Jan Heylen and Zacharie Robichon. Dennis Olsen fills out the four-driver roster.

 

But with so many entries and eight manufacturers involved, it’s a crapshoot determining who may be the favorite. Porsche, Ferrari and Lamborghini each have new or updated cars making their racing debuts. How will they fare over the grueling 24 hours?

 

Winward Racing has three-quarters of the lineup back that won in GTD at the 2021 Rolex 24 in the No. 57 Mercedes-AMG GT3 – Russell Ward, Philip Ellis and Indy Dontje. Ellis roared to the overall GT pole in qualifying on Sunday.

 

Paul Miller Racing is back after missing last year’s race and has a trio of former winners for the No. 1 BMW M4 GT3 in Bryan Sellers, Madison Snow and Corey Lewis. Andy Lally, the active leader in Rolex 24 wins with five, heads the No. 44 Magnus Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3 lineup with two more past winners in John Potter and Spencer Pumpelly. They finished second a year ago.

 

Iron Dames features an all-female lineup in the No. 83 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2, while Gradient Racing boasts two women familiar to IMSA for the full season – Katherine Legge and Sheena Monk – and paired them with two standouts in Mario Farnbacher and Marc Miller for the Rolex 24.

 

The action should be amazing throughout the field and throughout the 24 hours.

 

Rolex 24 At Daytona Winners in 2023 Rolex 24 Field (62)

  • Andy Lally (5): SRPII – 2001; GT – 2009, 2011, 2012; GTD – 2016
  • Joao Barbosa (4): GTS – 2003; DP/Overall –2010; P/Overall – 2014; DPi/Overall – 2018
  • Scott Dixon (4): DP/Overall – 2006; P/Overall – 2015; GTLM – 2018; DPi/Overall – 2020
  • Filipe Albuquerque (3): GT – 2013; P/Overall – 2018; DPi/Overall – 2021
  • Ryan Briscoe (3): GTLM – 2015, 2019; DPi/Overall – 2020
  • Antonio Garcia (3): DP/Overall – 2009; GTLM – 2015, 2021
  • Jordan Taylor (3): P/Overall – 2017; DPi/Overall – 2019; GTLM – 2021
  • Bill Auberlen (2): GTS-3 – 1997; GT3 – 1998
  • Mirko Bortolotti (2): GTD – 2018, 2019
  • Sebastien Bourdais (2): P/Overall – 2014; GTLM – 2017
  • Colin Braun (2): PC – 2014; LMP2 – 2020
  • Helio Castroneves (2): DPi/Overall – 2021, 2022
  • Ryan Dalziel (2): DP/Overall – 2010; LMP2 – 2021
  • Augusto Farfus (2): GTLM – 2019, 2020
  • Colton Herta (2): GTLM – 2019; LMP2 – 2022
  • Rolf Ineichen (2): GTD – 2018, 2019
  • Oliver Jarvis (2): GT – 2013; DPi/Overall – 2022
  • John Potter (2): GT – 2012; GTD – 2016
  • Spencer Pumpelly (2): GT – 2006, 2011
  • Gar Robinson (2): LMP3 – 2021, 2022
  • Ricky Taylor (2): P/Overall – 2017; DPi/Overall – 2021
  • Renger van der Zande (2): DPi/Overall – 2019, 2020
  • Tom Blomqvist (1): DPi/Overall – 2022
  • Nick Boulle (1): PC – 2017
  • Andrea Caldarelli (1): GTD – 2020
  • Matt Campbell (1): GTD PRO – 2022
  • Paul-Loup Chatin (1): LMP2 – 2021
  • Michael Christensen (1): GTD – 2017
  • Connor De Phillippi (1): GTLM – 2019
  • Devlin DeFrancesco (1): LMP2 – 2022
  • Pipo Derani (1): P/Overall – 2016
  • Indy Dontje (1): GTD – 2021
  • John Edwards (1): GTLM – 2020
  • Philip Ellis (1): GTD – 2021
  • Philipp Eng (1): GTLM – 2019
  • Maro Engel (1): GTD – 2021
  • Felipe Fraga (1): LMP3 – 2022
  • James French (1): PC – 2017
  • Misha Goikhberg (1): PC – 2016
  • Ben Hanley (1): LMP2 – 2020
  • Ryan Hardwick (1): GTD – 2022
  • Jan Heylen (1): GTD – 2022
  • Mathieu Jaminet (1): GTD PRO – 2022
  • Ben Keating (1): GTD – 2015
  • Kenton Koch (1): PC – 2016
  • Corey Lewis (1): GTD – 2020
  • Eric Lux (1): LMP2 – 2022
  • Jan Magnussen (1): GTLM – 2015
  • Dwight Merriman (1): LMP2 – 2021
  • Tommy Milner (1): GTLM – 2016
  • Felipe Nasr (1): GTD PRO – 2022
  • Simon Pagenaud (1): DPi/Overall – 2022
  • Franck Perera (1): GTD – 2018
  • Alessandro Pier Guidi (1): GTD – 2014
  • Patrick Pilet (1): GTLM – 2014
  • Zacharie Robichon (1): GTD – 2022
  • Bryan Sellers (1): GTD – 2020
  • Madison Snow (1): GTD – 2020
  • Nick Tandy (1): GTLM – 2014
  • Kay van Berlo (1): LMP3 – 2022
  • Russell Ward (1): GTD – 2021
  • Richard Westbrook (1): GTLM – 2018

 

IMSA Champions in 2023 Rolex 24 Field (55)

  • Joao Barbosa (6): WeatherTech Championship Prototype – 2014, 2015; IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup Prototype – 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
  • Antonio Garcia (6): American Le Mans Series GT – 2013; IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup GTLM – 2015; WeatherTech Championship GTLM – 2017, 2018, 2020, 2021
  • Ben Keating (6): IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup GTD – 2017, 2018, 2019; WeatherTech Championship LMP2 – 2021; IMSA Michelin Cup Endurance LMP2 – 2021, 2022
  • Jeroen Bleekemolen (5): American Le Mans Series GTC – 2010, 2013; IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup GTD – 2017, 2018, 2019
  • Jan Magnussen (5): American Le Mans Series GT1 – 2008; American Le Mans Series GT – 2013; IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup GTLM – 2015; WeatherTech Championship GTLM – 2017, 2018
  • Alessandro Balzan (4): GRAND-AM GT – 2013; WeatherTech Championship GTD – 2016, 2017; IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup – 2016
  • Colin Braun (4): WeatherTech Championship PC – 2014, 2015; IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup PC – 2014; WeatherTech Championship LMP3 – 2022
  • Andy Lally (4): GRAND-AM SRPII – 2001; GRAND-AM SGS – 2004; GRAND-AM GT – 2006; GRAND-AM North American Endurance Cup GT – 2012
  • Tommy Milner (4): American Le Mans Series GT – 2012; WeatherTech Championship GTLM – 2016; IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup GTLM – 2016, 2021
  • Felipe Nasr (4): WeatherTech Championship Prototype – 2018; IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup Prototype – 2018; IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup DPi – 2019; WeatherTech Championship DPi 2021
  • Jordan Taylor (4): GRAND-AM DP – 2013; WeatherTech Championship Prototype – 2017; WeatherTech Championship GTLM – 2020, 2021
  • Bill Auberlen (3): IMSA GTS-3 – 1997; GRAND-AM GT – 2002, 2004
  • Dane Cameron (3): WeatherTech Championship GTD – 2014; WeatherTech Championship P – 2016; WeatherTech Championship DPi – 2019
  • Mario Farnbacher (3): IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup GTD – 2017; WeatherTech Championship GTD – 2019, 2020
  • Mikkel Jensen (3): WeatherTech Championship LMP2 – 2021; IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup LMP2 – 2021, 2022
  • Gar Robinson (3): WeatherTech Championship LMP3 – 2021; IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup LMP3 – 2021, 2022
  • Ricky Taylor (3): WeatherTech Championship Prototype – 2017; WeatherTech Championship DPi – 2020; IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup DPi – 2021 
  • Filipe Albuquerque (2): IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup Prototype – 2017; IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup DPi – 2021
  • Tom Blomqvist (2): WeatherTech Championship DPi – 2022; IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup DPi – 2022
  • Ryan Briscoe (2): IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup GTLM – 2019; IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup DPi – 2020
  • Pipo Derani (2): IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup DPi – 2019; WeatherTech Championship DPi – 2021
  • John Edwards (2): GRAND-AM North American Endurance Cup GT – 2013; IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup GTLM – 2020
  • Felipe Fraga (2): IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup GTD – 2019; IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup LMP2 – 2022
  • James French (2): WeatherTech Championship PC – 2017; IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup PC – 2017
  • Trent Hindman (2): WeatherTech Championship GTD – 2019; IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup GTD – 2021
  • Scott Huffaker (2): IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup LMP2 – 2021, 2022
  • Oliver Jarvis (2): WeatherTech Championship DPi – 2022; IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup DPi – 2022
  • Cooper MacNeil (2): American Le Mans Series GTC – 2012, 2013
  • Matt McMurry (2): WeatherTech Championship LMP2 – 2019; WeatherTech Championship GTD – 2020
  • Patrick Pilet (2): WeatherTech Championship GTLM – 2015; IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup GTLM – 2017
  • Bryan Sellers (2): WeatherTech Championship GTD – 2018; IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup GTD – 2020
  • Renger van der Zande (2): WeatherTech Championship PC – 2016; IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup DPi – 2020
  • Laurens Vanthoor (2): WeatherTech Championship GTLM – 2019; WeatherTech Championship GTD – 2021
  • Earl Bamber (1): WeatherTech Championship GTLM – 2019
  • Matt Campbell (1): WeatherTech Championship GTD PRO – 2022
  • Helio Castroneves (1): WeatherTech Championship DPi – 2020
  • Roman De Angelis (1): WeatherTech Championship GTD – 2022
  • John Farano (1): WeatherTech Championship LMP2 – 2022
  • Jan Heylen (1): IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup GTD – 2021
  • Brendan Iribe (1): IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup GTD – 2022
  • Ian James (1): American Le Mans Series P2 – 2004
  • Mathieu Jaminet (1): WeatherTech Championship GTD PRO – 2022
  • Gunnar Jeannette (1): American Le Mans Series PC – 2011
  • Corey Lewis (1): IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup GTD – 2020
  • Simon Pagenaud (1): American Le Mans Series LMP – 2010
  • Jordan Pepper (1): IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup GTD – 2022
  • John Potter (1): GRAND-AM North American Endurance Cup GT – 2012
  • Davide Rigon (1): IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup GTD PRO – 2022
  • Zacharie Robichon (1): WeatherTech Championship GTD – 2021
  • Daniel Serra (1): IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup GTD PRO – 2022
  • Madison Snow (1): WeatherTech Championship GTD – 2018
  • Luca Stolz (1): IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup GTD – 2018
  • Nick Tandy (1): IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup GTLM – 2021
  • Kay van Berlo (1): IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup LMP3 – 2022
  • Richard Westbrook (1): IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup GTLM – 2019

 

24 Hours of Le Mans Winners in 2023 Rolex 24 Field (37)

  • Gianmaria Bruni (4): GT2 – 2008; GTE Pro – 2012, 2014, 2022
  • Nicolas Lapierre (4): LMP2 – 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019
  • Jan Magnussen (4): GTS – 2004; GT1 – 2005, 2006, 2009
  • Julien Canal (3): GT1 – 2010; GTE Am – 2011, 2012
  • Antonio Garcia (3): GT1 – 2008, 2009; GTE Pro – 2011
  • Brendon Hartley (3): LMP1/Overall – 2017, 2020; Hypercar/Overall – 2022
  • Darren Turner (3): GT1 – 2007, 2008; GTE Pro – 2017
  • Earl Bamber (2): LMP1/Overall – 2015, 2017
  • James Calado (2): GTE Pro – 2019, 2021
  • Tommy Milner (2): GTE Pro – 2011, 2015
  • Alessandro Pier Guidi (2): GTE Pro – 2019, 2021
  • Daniel Serra (2): GTE Pro – 2017, 2019
  • Harry Tincknell (2): LMP2 – 2014; GTE Pro – 2020
  • Filipe Albuquerque (1): LMP2 – 2020
  • James Allen (1): LMP2 Pro-Am: 2022
  • Julien Andlauer (1): GTE Am – 2018
  • Andrea Bertolini (1): GTE Am – 2015
  • Jeroen Bleekemolen (1): LMP2 – 2008
  • Sebastien Bourdais (1): GTE Pro – 2016
  • Matt Campbell (1): GTE Am – 2018
  • Michael Christensen (1): GTE Pro – 2018
  • Mike Conway (1): Hypercar/Overall – 2021
  • Ryan Dalziel (1): LMP2 – 2012
  • Kevin Estre (1): GTE Pro – 2018
  • Ben Hanley (1): LMP2 Pro-Am: 2021
  • Oliver Jarvis (1): LMP2 – 2017
  • Ben Keating (1): GTE Am – 2022
  • Alex Lynn (1): GTE Pro – 2020
  • Maxime Martin (1): GTE Pro – 2020
  • Nicklas Nielsen (1): GTE Am – 2021
  • Alessio Rovera (1): GTE Am – 2021
  • Marco Sorensen (1): GTE Am – 2022
  • Nick Tandy (1): LMP1/Overall – 2015
  • Jordan Taylor (1): GTE Pro – 2015
  • Nicki Thiim (1): GTE Am – 2014
  • Steven Thomas (1): LMP2 Pro-Am 2022
  • Laurens Vanthoor (1): GTE Pro – 2018

 

IndyCar Champions in 2023 Rolex 24 Field (3)

  • Scott Dixon (6): 2003, 2008, 2013, 2015, 2018, 2020
  • Sebastien Bourdais (4): 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007
  • Simon Pagenaud (1): 2016

 

Indianapolis 500 Winners in 2023 Rolex 24 Field (3)

  • Helio Castroneves (4): 2001, 2002, 2009, 2021
  • Scott Dixon (1): 2008
  • Simon Pagenaud (1): 2019

 

NASCAR Cup Series Daytona 500 Winners in 2023 Rolex 24 Field (1)

  • Austin Cindric (1): 2022
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