It’s been 10 years since SportsCar racing has competed at Daytona International Speedway during midsummer, but for Saturday’s (July 4) IMSA WeatherTech 240 At DAYTONA, many familiar faces that were here a decade ago will once again be making the trek back to the iconic venue for an Independence Day battle.
The 2 hour, 40-minute IMSA WeatherTech 240 At DAYTONA, set for a 6:05 pm ET start that will end under the lights, l consists of three WeatherTech Championship classes – Daytona Prototype (DPi), GT Le Mans (GTLM) and GT Daytona (GTD) on the 3.56-mile high-banked tri-oval/infield road course.
Working closely with public health officials and local, state and federal authorities on amended safety protocols and procedures, the Speedway is offering a limited number of fans – 5,000 – to attend the anticipated event with available seating in the frontstretch grandstands, as well as a limited number of infield camping guests. All attendees must be Florida residents, and will adhere to social distancing guidelines. Grandstand tickets are just $30 and children under 12 get in free. To secure tickets, fans can visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PIT-SHOP.
Daytona previously held summer SportsCar events from 1967-1985, 2000, and 2002-2010. While the 2010 DAYTONA IMSA summer race saw co-drivers Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas taste victory, a host of competitors in that race are still a major part of the IMSA WeatherTech Championship and are scheduled to be a part of the IMSA WeatherTech 240 At DAYTONA this weekend. Here is a snapshot of those individuals:
Andy Lally: Had the best luck in the last Daytona midsummer race, winning the GT category with then co-driver RJ Valentine. He’ll hope the No. 44 Magnus Racing / GRT Lamborghini Huracán GT3 will find the same success this weekend as his No. 66 TRG Porsche GT3 Cup did in 2010. After all, he did finish second in the WeatherTech Championship GTD class during the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA in January.
Bill Auberlen: Finishing right behind Lally in second was Auberlen, co-driving with Paul Dalla Lana and Joey Hand. Ten years later, Auberlen will be back in another Turner Motorsport BMW, this time carrying No. 96 instead of that year’s No. 94.
Antonio Garcia: Was the highest finishing current driver, placing eighth overall and in the Daytona Prototype class. He’s swapping the No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Racing Porsche Coyote for the No. 3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C8.R next week.
Jordan Taylor: This year, Garcia will be sharing the No. 3 Corvette C8.R with new-for-2020 teammate Jordan Taylor. Taylor also finished eighth in 2010, albeit in the GT class driving the No. 30 Racers Edge Motorsports Mazda RX-8.
Ricky Taylor: Jordan Taylor’s elder brother, Ricky, also ran in the 2010 Daytona summer race. In fact, he qualified on the pole position in the No. 10 Ford Dallara he shared with Max Angelelli. And while they would later go on to win the prestigious Rolex 24 together in 2017 – along with Jordan and four-time NASCAR Cup champion Jeff Gordon - Ricky co-drove to a ninth-place DP finish in the No. 10 SunTrust Racing machine in July 2010. He’ll be behind the wheel of the No. 7 Acura Team Penske Acura DPi this weekend.
Joao Barbosa: He and Terry Borcheller teamed up in the No. 9 Action Express Racing Porsche Riley finishing 10th in the DP class. Barbosa enjoyed much Daytona success with Action Express over the years, but now drives the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing w/ JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac DPi with Sebastien Bourdais for 2020.
John Edwards: Netted a sixth-place finish in the GT class aboard in the No. 68 SpeedSource Mazda RX-8. Next weekend, he’ll be looking to repeat his success from January’s Rolex 24 – a WeatherTech Championship GT Le Mans (GTLM) win in the No. 25 BMW Team RLL.
Jonathan Bomarito: Edwards’ former SpeedSource teammate in the No. 70 Mazda RX-8 was Bomarito, who competed with Sylvain Tremblay in 2010. This year, he’ll be behind the wheel of the No. 55 Mazda Motorsports Mazda DPi looking to recreate the magic from nearly one year ago at Watkins Glen International – Mazda’s first victory in the WeatherTech Championship.
Spencer Pumpelly: He is no stranger to IMSA premier series racing at Daytona, but his team will be for the 2020 July 4 race. Finishing 13th in the GT class in 2010, Pumpelly returns with the newly announced WeatherTech Sprint Cup effort by Team Hardpoint. He’ll be co-driving the No. 30 Audi R8 LMS GT3 with Rob Ferriol, who will be making his debut in the series as well.
John Potter: Last but not least is Lally’s current season-long teammate – and Pumpelly’s IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup teammate – Potter. While he and Lally will be sharing the No. 44 Lamborghini Huracán GT3, he co-drove to a 16th-place finish in the No. 44 Magnus Racing Porsche GT3 Cup with Craig Stanton in 2010.
The WeatherTech 240 At DAYTONA also marks IMSA’s return to racing since opening the season with the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA in January. All guests who attend the IMSA WeatherTech 240 At DAYTONA will be screened before entering the facility, required to wear face coverings and maintain six-feet of social distancing throughout the venue. Full protocols can be found here. The IMSA WeatherTech 240 At DAYTONA will also be televised LIVE on NBCSN.
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