Adam has been a race fan since the first time he went through the tunnel under the Daytona International Speedway almost 30 years ago. He has had the privilege of traveling to races all across the state of Florida (as well as one race in Ohio), watching nearly everything with a motor compete for fame and glory, as well as participating in various racing schools to get the feel of what racecar drivers go through every week.
Adam spent several years covering motorsports for Examiner.com., where he had the opportunity to see the racing world from behind the scenes as well as the grandstands. He invites everyone to follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus, and looks forward to sharing his enthusiasm for all things racing with the readers of SpeedwayDigest.com.
Be sure to tune in for his sports talk program, Thursday Night Thunder, where he discusses the latest in motorsports news with drivers, crew members, and fans. The show takes place (almost) every Thursday at 8:00 pm EST on the Speedway Digest Radio Network.
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The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli TA2® class season finale at Daytona International Speedway was dramatic from start to finish in the 65-minute finale on Saturday.
After the dust settled with post-race reviews and technical inspections, Thomas Merrill, in the No. 99 Mike Cope Racing Ford Mustang, scored his third TA2® powered by AEM victory of the season. His teammate Tony Buffomante (No. 34 Mike Cope Racing Ford Mustang) staged a massive comeback to score second ahead of Dillon Machavern, who claimed third in the No. 77 Liqui-Moly/Prefix Ford Mustang.
“The last few laps were pretty busy, pretty aggressive, but fair – fair both ways,” said Merril of his battle with pole sitter Mayer. “Our car was very good, and I felt his car was very good, so it was a very good race for the lead there at the end. The Big Diehl Racing/Mike Cope Race Cars crew was unbelievable. They gave me the best car in the field. It was my job to bring it home in first place.”
Sixteen-year-old NASCAR K&N champion Sam Mayer (No. 96 SLR/Fields Racing/M1 Racecars Chevrolet Camaro) started on pole, but it was Merrill that shot to the front of the pack at the start ahead of Rafa Matos and 2019 TA2® champion elect Mark Miller. Tony Buffomante slotted in to third as Mayer looked to move up from fourth.
Under braking for turn one, Mayer and Buffomante made contact, sending the No. 34 Mustang back down the order to 24th position. Mayer was issued a drive through penalty and fell back to eighth.
Merrill built a seven-second lead before debris on the track forced the first of four caution periods and grouped the field back up. Miller and Jacob Mosler (SLR/Fields Racing/M1Racecars / Chevrolet Camaro) fell victim to the flying wreckage. Miller pitted to change two flat tires and continued the race. Mosler wasn’t as lucky. His day ended with pierced transmission.
On the restart, Merrill held off the challenging 2018 TA2® champion Rafa Matos for the lead. Again building his lead, Merril’s gap was erased once again after another full course yellow following an issue that ended Matos’ strong run.
After a pair of back-to-back cautions, Mayer caught Merrill following a late restart and the two swapped the lead several times. Mayer made his final bid entering the NASCAR oval on the 26th lap, but a two-car incident on the front straight brought about a race-ending caution as Merrill closed out his 2019 season on a high note. Following post-race inspections, Mayer’s entry was found to be out of compliance and was disqualified from the race.
Buffomante also had a strong drive through the field following the early incident, taking third on the final green-flag lap, and later promoted to second. The run was Buffomante’s Trans Am swan song, as the five-year veteran driver will step away from competition as he prepares to pass the torch to his 11-year-old son who is continuing the family tradition and pursuing a racing career.
“He [Mayer] just drove right through us,” Buffomante explained. “At a track like Daytona, a drive-through penalty is not big enough, especially when you get a caution, those guys just drive right back up there. It’s unfortunate for us. We had a good car, and spent a bunch of time backwards after I spun out. Then I had to work back through the pack. I would have liked to have had the last couple of laps not run under the caution. I think we would have made it interesting. We were hoping for another win here, but it is great to end up here on the podium. ”
Lawless Alan (No. 52 AutoParkIT / Ford Mustang), the 19-year-old TA2 Rookie of the Year, finished fourth after an early pit due to loose wiring forced him to the pits early in the race and Misha Goikhberg (No. 10 BC Race Cars / Chevrolet Camaro) took fifth.
Miller, aftre hitting debris, ran fifth before retiring late in the race due to a coolant leak.
“This was not the way we wanted to end the season,” said a deflated Miller. “Our car was very, very good. We had contact at the beginning of the race that put us back. Then we were able to put on a good showing. I had a good car until I found myself driving in my own antifreeze. I thought it might have been a tire, but then I saw the temperature gauge. I got hit a few times, but it was fun.”
The showing at Daytona International Speedway closed out the 53rd Trans Am Series season.
Trans Am returns to action Feb. 29-March 1, 2020 at Sebring International Raceway.
Robert Hight races to victory at the 55th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona20 Nov 2019
The live telecast of Sunday’s Formula 1 World Championship Brazilian Grand Prix on ESPN2 attracted a U.S. television audience that averaged double-digit increases over viewership for the last two editions of the race, continuing F1’s trend of season-long audience growth across ESPN networks.
The race had an average audience of 620,000 viewers on ESPN2, an increase of 32 percent over the race on ESPN2 last year (469,000) and up eight percent from the NBCSN audience of 571,000 in 2017. The Brazilian Grand Prix audience peaked at 757,593 as Max Verstappen drove to victory.
Through 20 races this season, Formula 1 is averaging 681,000 viewers on ESPN networks, an increase of 22 percent over the average of 557,000 at this point last year on ESPN networks and up 25 percent from the average of 544,000 on NBC networks in 2017.
Seventeen of the 20 races this season have seen year-over-year viewership increases on ESPN networks.
The 21-race Formula 1 season concludes on Sunday, Dec. 1, with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The race airs at 8:05 a.m. ET on ESPN2.
A premium fan hospitality lounge has been added for SuperSebring 2020 at Sebring International Raceway with the formation of a partnership between Celebrity Cruises and Sebring International Raceway. Elements of a luxurious Celebrity cruise will be created on dry land in a chalet overlooking the famed front stretch of the Sebring circuit March 20-21.
In addition to luxurious race-day experiences, Sebring International Raceway and Celebrity Cruises are offering fans an opportunity to sail with top drivers and racing celebrities on the Celebrity Constellation during “Sebring Raceway at Sea” Nov. 14-21, 2020. The seven-night Western Caribbean cruise will sail from the Port of Tampa and will include stops in five ports.
Admission to the Celebrity Cruises Luxury Lounge includes two-days admission to the 5,000-square-foot air-conditioned club with premium views of the entrance to IMSA pit road and an elevated viewing platform providing long-range views of the front stretch. Guests will indulge in daily gourmet meals inspired by the destinations visited by Celebrity, a diverse selection of unlimited classics including beer and wine selections such as Yuengling, Mike’s Hard products and Pepsi. Guests may also purchase premium brand beverages from the cash bar. Daily buffet-style meals, unlimited Yuengling, Mike’s Hard products, wine, Pepsi products and a cash bar with top-shelf brands will be available. The adjacent Retreat Sundeck & Sky Observation Lounge will provide guests an exciting view and an assortment of frozen cocktails at the Slush Bar on the deck.
Lounge tickets also will allow admission to the Sebring Raceway grounds on Wednesday and Thursday of race week. Club-style seating, question and answer sessions with top racing personalities and a variety of entertainment activities will be provided for those looking for a break from the on-track action. Large format televisions, scoring monitors and indoor and outdoor seating will be available for the most passionate racing fans to keep up with Friday’s FIA WEC 1000 Miles of Sebring and Saturday’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
Celebrity Cruises Luxury Lounge tickets are $395 and include a four-day SuperTicket and free Ulmann lot parking. Tickets can be purchased by visiting sebringraceway.com or by calling 800-626-7223.
To kick off its new relationship with Sebring International Raceway, “Sebring Raceway at Sea” – a seven-night Western Caribbean cruise aboard the Celebrity Constellation – is being offered to fans of the racetrack and fans of relaxation. The Nov. 14-21, 2020 cruise will include Sebring-themed activities on board and interactive opportunities with several top drivers who will compete in the 2020 Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
Sebring Raceway at Sea will leave Tampa at 4 p.m. on Nov. 14, and make stops in exotic locations including Costa Maya, Honduras, Belize and Cozumel before returning to Tampa at 8 a.m. on Nov. 21.
Onboard experiences only available to Sebring Raceway at Sea guests may include driver meet and greets, exclusive shore excursions, live entertainment, driver photo opportunities, a private late-night pool party, welcome gifts and a private hospitality desk.
Celebrity Cruises is including two “perks” in all Sebring Raceway at Sea packages. Options include classic beverage packages, unlimited wi-fi, prepaid tips or a $150 per person credit to spend on board.
Sebring at Sea packages can be booked by calling Cruise & Tour Supermarket at 800-232-7447.
Ten individuals, all who have made significant contributions to the Sports Car Club of America® (SCCA®) and world of motorsports, have been named as the Club’s newest Hall of Fame class -- adding their names to a list of timeless superstars. The 2020 class, the largest group to be inducted at once into the Hall of Fame since its 2005 inception, includes three married couples and one individual who has now followed his father’s path into the Hall of Fame.
Along with the accomplishments of all previous inductees, the latest Hall of Fame members helped position the building blocks that elevated SCCA’s stature in the world of motorsports. This year’s honorees are Bill and Jane Goodale, Walt Hansgen, Scott Harvey, Joe Huffaker, Cat Kizer, Bob and Patty Tunnell, and Dave and Sherrie Weitzenhof.
As has become tradition, this year’s greats will be formally inducted during the SCCA® Hall of Fame and Awards Banquet. That event takes place Saturday, January 18 and serves as the capstone of the three-day SCCA National Convention taking place at the South Point Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Below is additional background on those joining the prestigious ranks this year.
Bill and Jane Goodale
Within the Sports Car Club of America, Bill and Jane Goodale have been far more than accomplished drivers. They have been leaders, facilitators, officials and even mentors. It could be argued that most SCCA members have been affected by their efforts, certainly on the Solo side. But beyond that, the grace, kindness and sense of inclusion they’ve displayed has become a hallmark of SCCA’s Solo Program.
Jane was Solo Chair during the 1970s when New England Region’s Solo program was just beginning to be a presence. She traveled the ProSolo circuit and went on to lend support to the Region and fellow competitors, and was well known as host of the Region party at Solo Nationals. Meanwhile, Bill was New England Region’s first, and for decades only, Solo Novice chair.
In the early years of Solo Nationals, Chief Stewards were usually from outside the Solo community. When that changed to instead utilize those involved in autocross, Bill was one of the first to be asked to fill the role. He did for decades, working with and mentoring many others who have taken on the role as Solo Nationals grew. Bill’s record in competition was impressive, too, as he was named the 1989 Driver of Eminence, received the 2010 Solo Cup, and claimed several national championships along the way.
A member of the Northern New Jersey Region since joining SCCA in 1951, Walt Hansgen’s influence and impact in American and European sports car racing was immense. As a competitor, Hansgen achieved much. He was a four-time SCCA “C” Modified National Champion, a three-time recipient of SCCA’s President’s Cup, and competed at world-class endurance events, NASCAR Grand National races, and a couple Grands Prix. Hansgen was also named the New York Times “Best Driver of the Year” and Sports Illustrated “U.S. Sports Car Driver of the Year.”
Hansgen’s successful racing career aside, he was a very active member of the Northern New Jersey Region where he held the Regional Executive position. On a National level, he served on the Competition Board and worked diligently to improve the Club’s road racing program, safety standards and competition rules. Additionally, Hansgen conducted racecourse safety inspections, making recommendations for circuit improvements to benefit drivers, crew and spectators alike -- standards that are still in use today.
While attending UCLA in the 1950s, engineering student Scott Harvey began rally and racing efforts in an MG-TD. By 1956, he had joined the Sports Car Club of America and was working as a Chrysler engineer in Detroit where he managed to convince superiors to loan him a 300D for motorsport activities -- the first in a long string of Chrysler products he competed in over the years. And while some know Harvey for engineering high-performance suspension parts, his real impact came through advancing the sport of performance rally.
It is Harvey’s early adoption of the European idea of high-speed rally that landed him in the SCCA Hall of Fame. He helped form a club, called The Ralligators, that worked alongside SCCA’s Detroit Region to create European rallying in the United States. Harvey was instrumental in creation of the MONY (Michigan, Ohio, New York) rally series, with most MONY events being SCCA rallies. This eventually led to creation of the SCCA PRO Rally series in 1973, which Harvey became first overall champion. Before that, he had participated in traditional Time-Speed-Distance (TSD) rallies where in 1963 and 1964 he won the SCCA National TSD championship.
In 1968, Harvey served as Chairman and Rallymaster of the Press On Regardless rally, a milestone event for the sport in America and the longest running rally event in SCCA history. Under his leadership, Harvey and the Press On Regardless were awarded the prestigious Arthur Gervais Rally of the Year in 1968 by SCCA, the first time a "performance" rally had been selected for the award. Harvey was also instrumental in bringing the World Rally Championship to the United States with his involvement in the 1972 Press On Regardless rally, an event in 1973 and 1974 with World Championship status.
“Little” Joe Huffaker, the son of 2017 SCCA Hall of Fame inductee Joe Huffaker, has made a big mark in Sports Car Club of America road racing. At an early age, the younger Huffaker helped out around his father’s garage before “officially” joining Huffaker Engineering in the early 1970s. Over the years he gathered a lot of useful knowledge, from his father and great drivers and mechanics, before taking over the business in 1991 when his father retired.
The younger Joe, however, didn’t just continue his father’s work. He significantly expanded the operation to become a force throughout SCCA Club Racing and Pro Racing, maintaining the highest possible standards in car construction and presentation, regardless of the series. As proof, note the fact that Huffaker Engineering has produced over 35 SCCA Runoffs® National Championship cars and claimed three SCCA Trans Am titles. Their successful record has earned the Huffakers the honor of being the very first father-son duo to be inducted into the Sports Car Club of America Hall of Fame.
Beyond his car and engine building prowess, “Little” Joe -- who actually stands 6 feet 5 inches tall -- is an equally talented racecar driver. He has too many wins to count in SCCA road racing competition. But a couple highlights, as of 2019, include his 13 poles at the Runoffs and 10 National Championships gathered up across two different classes in cars he designed, built and prepared -- a feat that stands as testament to Joe’s immense talent.
A continuous member of SCCA since 1976, Catherine “Cat” Kizer holds a special place in SCCA history. She was the first female to be crowned a Runoffs champion, and the only woman to be awarded the President’s Cup. These two accomplishments have made Kizer a role model for other female racers.
It was 1979 when Kizer made history at Road Atlanta during the National Championship Runoffs. She faced a formidable field of competitors, many of whom were previous national champions. Starting from eighth on the grid, she quickly drove her H Production Red Roof Inns MG Midget into the lead. A great battle ensued up front, but it was Kizer who was first to the checkered flag. That inspiring drive earned her the prestigious President's Cup award that year. The following year, Kizer was back at the Runoffs, placing her car on pole and finishing third in the race.
Bob and Patty Tunnell
The Solo duo of Patty and Bob Tunnell have posted an illustrious record when it comes to autocross competition. From Volkswagens in the early 1980s, through a long and storied stretch driving BMWs at many preparation levels, the married couple achieved success few have matched. They have claimed numerous Solo Nationals Championships and ProSolo Championships across many classes and categories, from Stock through Modified, in cars which were not the obvious choice for victory. Bob’s recognition awards from SCCA have included the Solo Cup and, together with Patty, Driver of Eminence.
Beyond their success between the orange cones, the Tunnells stand as an example of how to be active, involved members of both the Solo community and Club as a whole. Bob has served the Club on a variety of fronts, including time on the Solo Events Board and as a Chief Steward for Solo Nationals. Patty and Bob have also lent their valuable experience and positive attitude to the Club’s burgeoning Time Trials National Tour program. All throughout, the Tunnells never forgot how important it is to encourage experienced competitors to befriend and mentor those new to SCCA activities. Their kindness and compassion are also on display through philanthropic endeavors that create a very positive image for the Sports Car Club of America.
Dave and Sherrie Weitzenhof
Dave Weitzenhof’s record over more than 50 years of SCCA road racing demonstrates his skill as both a driver and technician. Overall, he has seven SCCA National Championships and was presented with the Road Racing Drivers’ Club Mark Donohue Award in 1972, as well as the 1977 SCCA President’s Cup trophy. But as Dave himself admits, none of that would’ve been possible without the help of his wife, Sherrie Weitzenhof, who has been by his side and an instrumental part of the “team” throughout half a century of racing. The fact that Sherrie is officially recognized as a “Friend of the Road Racing Drivers’ Club” proves that point. Furthermore, Sherrie supported the SCCA NeOhio Region by organizing many events, including the successful and long running Competition Clinic, and she chaired the NeOhio Hall of Fame committee.
To his credit, Dave earned four SCCA Runoffs wins in the highly competitive Formula Ford class, as well as a pair of Formula Continental Runoffs victories and a Formula Vee SCCA National Championship. Beyond that, he has won far too many SCCA races to count. Outside the car, Dave was an accomplished engineer with Bridgestone/Firestone and has numerous patents to his name. Throughout his involvement in SCCA racing, Dave openly shared insights on car setup and vehicle dynamics, as well as his tire expertise with fellow racers. Some of that know-how was deployed while serving as a test driver for development of the Sports Renault program, which evolved to become Spec Racer Ford -- one of SCCA’s most popular car classes in road racing.
The new class of 10 inductees join the list below of 91 previously-entered SCCA Hall of Fame members:
2005: Cameron Argetsinger, A. Tracy Bird, John Fitch, Arthur Gervais, Harry Handley, Vern Jaques, Bill Milliken, Sue Roethel, Art Trier, Rob Walker
2006: John Bornholdt, John Buffum, Mark Donohue, Denise McCluggage, Grant Reynolds
2007: Marge Binks, Marc Gerstein, Carl A. Haas, General Curtis E. LeMay, Theodore F. Robertson
2008: Roger E. Johnson, Don and Ruth Nixon, Kjell Qvale, Robert Ridges, Fred Schmucker
2009: Bill Chambres, Bill Johnson, Jim Kimberly, Paul Newman, John Timanus
2010: Nick Craw, Briggs Cunningham, R. David Jones, Burdette “Berdie” Martin, Wayne Zitkus
2011: Karen Babb, John Bishop, Jim Fitzgerald, Tracer Racing, Harro Zitza
2012: Charlie Earwood, Jim Hall, Gene Henderson, Dr. Peter Talbot, Bryan Webb
2013: Skip Barber, Bill Noble, Bobby Rahal, Carroll Shelby, Andy Porterfield
2014: Kathy Barnes, Robert “Bob” Bondurant, Dan Gurney, Dr. Robert “Bob” Hubbard and Jim Downing, Pete Hylton
2015: Roger H. Johnson, Oscar Koveleski, Ron Sharp, Dr. George Snively, Bob Tullius
2016: Hubert Brundage, Bob Henderson, Roger Penske, Randy Pobst, Alec Ulman
2017: Pete Brock, Dennis Dean, Larry and Linda Dent, Joe Huffaker Sr., Lyn St. James, Phil Hill, Jim Kaser
2018: William C. Bradshaw, Peter Cunningham, Janet Guthrie, August Pabst, Dave Stremming and Loren Pearson, Bob Sharp, Dr. Dick Thompson
2019: David Ammen, Dr. Frank Falkner, George Follmer, Patricia "Patc" Henry, John McGill, Dorsey Schroeder, Henryk Szamota
The purpose of the Sports Car Club of America Hall of Fame is to preserve, protect and record the history and accomplishments of the Club for current and future members by recognizing those members who have had a significant impact on the Club and the sport. This may be through service to the national organization, achievements in competition, advancement of the sport, or bringing recognition to the SCCA.
The Hall of Fame is overseen and guided by four Committees. The Steering Committee oversees the entire process. The Legacy Committee focuses on nominees from the first third of SCCA’s history. The Nomination Committee focuses on nominees from the last two-thirds of the Club’s history. The Chairs of the Legacy and Nomination Committees are encouraged to liaison with each other in cases where nominees might reasonably fall under the purview of both committees. The Selection Committee then picks each year’s inductees.
Online registration for the SCCA National Convention can be found here and includes entry to the Hall of Fame and Awards Banquet. Additional information about the upcoming SCCA National Convention can also be found at https://www.scca.com/pages/nationalconvention.
As you probably heard, Indian Motorcycle recently disrupted the motorcycle industry with the announcement of its all-new Challenger – a class-leading, liquid-cooled, fixed-fairing American bagger.
Now test ride demos are all well and good. But you’re not going to get a sense of what a bike like the Challenger can do – a bike made for long-distance, sport touring type of applications – by taking it out for a couple miles around the local dealership. To that point, Indian is offering one lucky rider the chance at the ultimate Challenger test ride – an all-expense paid trip for two to ride Indian Challengers on one of the five greatest touring routes in America.
Riders can enter the “Challenge Everything Giveaway” by visiting:
The scenic ride routes, include:
- Cherohala Skyway - TN and NC
- North Cascades Scenic Byway - WA
- Twisted Sisters – TX
- Pacific Coast Scenic Byway – CA
- Pig Trail Scenic Byway – AR
The raffle is open now and will conclude on Friday, January 31, at 11:59 p.m. PT.
Renger van der Zande returns for his third season as full-time co-driver of the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R and will be joined for the 10-race IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship campaign in 2020 by IndyCar Series and sportscar veteran Ryan Briscoe.
The duo’s first order of business will be defending the team’s 2019 victory in January’s season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona with added drivers Kamui Kobayashi, the former Formula One and current FIA World Endurance Championship regular who was part of this year’s victorious Rolex 24 effort, and five-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon.
Van der Zande, the 33-year-old from Amsterdam, co-drove with Jordan Taylor to a pair of victories and seven podium finishes the past two seasons, and earned the 2017 Rolex 24 pole position in his first race with the team. Taylor left after a seven-year run with the team that netted 19 victories and the 2013 and 2017 driver championships to join the factory Corvette Racing effort in the WeatherTech Championship’s GT Le Mans class.
“I am obviously very happy to be continuing with the team,” van der Zande said. “I think we’ve built up a good relationship over the past two seasons and it’ll be the third year in a row I’ll be driving for the same team, which is fantastic in terms of continuity. This team is all about continuity and repetition, doing things better and better every time you do them. That’s why there are so many people with this team who have been there for 10-plus years, some over 15 years. That’s also what makes this team good, makes it great. Obviously we’re working on having great success in 2020. I’m happy to continue, happy to move forward, and this definitely feels like my American home.”
Briscoe, the 38-year-old from Australia, joins the team after a four-year run with the Ford Chip Ganassi Racing GT Le Mans-class program. With full-time co-driver Richard Westbrook and the addition of Dixon at the endurance events, his No. 67 Ford GT scored eight class wins, 18 podium finishes and eight pole positions in 44 races, including a class victory in the 2018 Rolex 24. Briscoe also was part of the team’s 24 Hours of Le Mans effort the past four seasons with a best class finish of third in 2016. In 11 seasons on the IndyCar circuit, including three with Ganassi and five with Team Penske, Briscoe scored seven victories and 27 podium finishes and qualified on the pole 12 times, including the pole at the 2012 Indianapolis 500. His best IndyCar points finish was third in 2009 with Team Penske.
“I’m really excited to be joining WTR,” said Briscoe, who’s driven with the No. 10 team five times previously, including Rolex 24 efforts in 2006, 2011 and 2012. “I’ve always had so much respect for the organization. They’ve been so successful and are one of the most committed teams in the IMSA WeatherTech Championship. It’s an honor to join them as one of their full-time drivers. The Cadillac DPi is a fantastic machine and I can’t wait to drive it.”
Kobayashi, the 33-year-old from Japan, returns to the team for the 2020 Rolex 24 after co-driving with Taylor, van der Zande and Formula One veteran Fernando Alonso to victory this past January, the team’s second win in the endurance marathon in three seasons. He co-drove the No. 7 Toyota Gazoo Racing LMP1-class entry to second in the most recent World Endurance Championship standings and is back with that team full-time this season. Kobayashi was highly instrumental in the Rolex 24 victory, keeping the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R in the lead for 72 of his 87 laps behind the wheel. It was his first career Rolex 24 outing.
“First of all, I want thank to Wayne Taylor Racing and Konica Minolta for giving me a chance to race at Rolex 24 hours for two years in a row,” Kobayashi said. “I had a great experience in winning with WTR and the Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi last year at Daytona, so I am really looking forward to go back there to try to win the race again. I know it is not easy to repeat the success the team had there last year but, with my 2019 teammate Renger and with very strong new teammates, I think we should be able to challenge for win. Ryan and Scott are not only talented, but they also have had great success in other U.S. racing series, so I am really looking forward to working with them.”
Dixon, the 39-year-old from New Zealand, is a veteran of 19 IndyCar seasons, the last 18 of which he spent with Chip Ganassi Racing. He is a five-time series champion, the most recent title coming in 2018. Among his 46 career race wins and 115 podium finishes is his victory from the pole at the 2008 Indianapolis 500. Dixon also has contested 36 sportscar races dating back to 1999, including 12 with the Ganassi Ford GT effort the past four seasons. In addition to his 2018 Rolex 24 class victory with Briscoe and Westbrook, he has scored a pair of overall Rolex 24 wins in Ganassi Racing prototypes. The first was the 2006 Rolex 24 alongside Casey Mears and Dan Wheldon, the second with Tony Kanaan, Kyle Larson and Jamie McMurray in the 2015 Rolex 24.
“I’ve been with Chip Ganassi Racing’s sportscar program since its inception back in 2004, and we’ve enjoyed a good amount of success together over the years,” Dixon said. “With the Ford GT program coming to a conclusion in 2019, the opportunity with Wayne Taylor Racing became available, and it’s something I’m really excited about. I’ve always loved racing Prototypes and to get back to the top class is something I’m looking forward to, for sure. Wayne and his team run a very strong program and have been proven contenders for years, now. Ryan and I obviously have a long history together, so I think that will be important, as well, to get a fast start. I’m looking forward to teaming up with Renger and Kamui and hope to contribute to the overall success of the No. 10 car.”
The No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R team has been among the most dominating at the Rolex 24 since the team’s inception in 2007. It has reeled off six race-day podiums in its last seven outings at the iconic endurance marathon, including the 2017 and 2019 victories, with a total of 1,222 laps led from 2013 through 2019. The team enters the 2020 season coming off a runner-up finish at the Petit Le Mans finale at Road Atlanta, which locked in a top-four finish in the final standings.
“Obviously, these are some of the biggest changes we’ve made in the way of our driver lineup,” team owner Wayne Taylor said. “Ricky (Taylor, eldest son) left two years ago and Jordan’s been with us since forever, it seems like. With him leaving, we’re in some ways starting with a clean sheet of paper. Renger has been with us for two years and he has done a good job. Ryan and Max (Angelelli, former co-driver and current team owner) and I have always worked together, so there is a lot of familiarity there. For the longer races, we’re excited to have Kamui back to help defend our Daytona championship, and Scott Dixon certainly brings us a fresh, new look to the team with a history of winning races and championships. So, despite all the changes, everything will kind of still be the same, and everyone is highly motivated. The team is looking forward to some change. You’ve got to have change in life and I think this is a good time. I’m proud of Jordan for getting selected to drive the factory Corvette. It would have been difficult to turn that down. I wish him well and the team does, too. I’m also excited with the announcement of the new head of IMSA, John Doonan. He’s a guy I’ve known for years and he understands what we’re all trying to do, especially in the business-to-business arena, which has always been so important to us. John knows these cars, he understands BoP (Balance of Performance), and we feel absolutely revitalized having him in charge. I’m really looking forward to good things happening in 2020.”
The 2020 season kicks off Jan. 25 and 26 with the 58th running of the Rolex 24. It will be preceded by the annual three days of Roar Before the 24 test days Jan. 3 to 5.