July 18, 2024

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Top drivers come together for the weekend’s Rolex 24 at Daytona

The No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing w/ Curb-Agajanian Acura DPi of Juan Pablo Montoya, Dane Cameron, Olivier Pla, and AJ Allmendinger all through a follow session for the Rolex 24 at Daytona. (Getty Pictures)


The Rolex 24 at Daytona is as soon as again stacked with superstars — Kevin Magnussen fresh new out of Formulation A person, reigning IndyCar winner Scott Dixon and Chase Elliott, two months taken out from his first NASCAR title — all section of a sturdy discipline of fifty entries just a calendar year taken out from a record-minimal motor vehicle rely.

Even in a pandemic, the Rolex 24 is the spot to be for racers.

The prestigious worldwide sports motor vehicle race commenced in 1962 as the a few-hour Daytona Continental just before Monthly bill France Sr. expanded it 4 a long time later into a twice-around-the-clock stamina celebration. France wished the major road racers in the earth at his Florida facility and created the stage for them to occur.

“He experienced the eyesight of very best motorists, very best cars, very best teams and this calendar year in certain really shines,” mentioned John Doonan, president of IMSA, the sports motor vehicle sequence owned by the France family members. “This celebration is a spot the place motorists can contend towards the very best of the very best. It is the best accumulating of champions around the earth from every single willpower under the solar.”

Jimmie Johnson, the seven-time NASCAR winner headed to IndyCar this calendar year as a rookie, will be behind the wheel of an Action Categorical Cadillac when the race starts Saturday. It will be Johnson’s eighth Rolex, first in a 10 years, and he’s section of an all-star lineup trying to get background.

The No. forty eight — functioning in partnership with Hendrick Motorsports of NASCAR — includes Indianapolis five hundred winner Simon Pagenaud, former Rolex and Le Mans winner Mike Rockenfeller and Kamui Kobayashi, who is attempting to turn into the first driver to gain a few straight Rolex watches in race background.

Kobayashi will have to contend with Renger van der Zande, his teammate on the winning Wayne Taylor Racing entry the past two period. WTR break up by relocating from Cadillac to an Acura manufacturing unit method this period and Kobayashi and van der Zande went their individual approaches.

The two return to Daytona in Cadillacs, van der Zande as the whole-time driver along with Magnussen in Chip Ganassi Racing’s return to the IMSA sequence right after a one-calendar year hiatus.

WTR is nevertheless stacked, though, with a lineup showcasing reigning IMSA champions Ricky Taylor and Helio Castroneves, as effectively as Indy five hundred winner Alexander Rossi. Michael Shank Racing fields the 2nd Acura entry with two-time Indy five hundred winner Juan Pablo Montoya, AJ Allmendinger and 2019 IMSA winner Dane Cameron.

Elliott makes his debut in the Action Categorical entry that begins from the pole Saturday. His Cadillac team includes whole-time IMSA motorists Felipe Nasr and Pipo Derani, as effectively as veteran Mike Conway, and the trio has been patient in training Elliott about sports cars.

Elliott has won 4 consecutive NASCAR road study course races more than the past two seasons but insisted it presents him no leverage at the Rolex.

“It’s just a new ball game, something fresh new and various and I comprehend the troubles are fantastic and there is a good deal for me to find out,” Elliott mentioned. “When you exhibit up to any person else’s playground it is likely to be hard — some of the very best road study course racers in the earth are right here.”

The major DPi course has seven entries — 4 Cadillacs, two Acuras and a Mazda — amongst the discipline of fifty cars. Last year’s race was a Rolex-minimal 38 entries. Of be aware:

— Katherine Legge will contend for the first time considering the fact that breaking each her legs in a crash past summer season. She mentioned she’s 99{0764260a27b4b31ca71a8adf79c3ae299a61e6f062052eee3f0df84ce9b30ade} healed right after 6 months of rehabilitation and is teamed for the third consecutive calendar year with Christina Nielsen. They are section of a Porsche 911 GT3R lineup in the loaded twenty-motor vehicle GT Daytona course.

— Zach Veach makes his sports motor vehicle debut right after seven seasons racing Indy cars. He dropped his seat at Andretti Autosport late past calendar year and has made the job change to IMSA, the place he’s landed a whole-time experience with VasserSullivan Racing. Veach will operate for the GTD championship in a Lexus RC F GT3 with solid level of competition from a 2nd VasserSullivan entry piloted by Jack Hawksworth and Aaron Tellitz.

— Wayne Taylor Racing is the two-time defending race winning team and has a few in general victories in the past 4 Rolex races. The team will change to its new Acura DPi with Ricky Taylor, Cameron and Rossi, who all drove the motor vehicle the past a few seasons for Staff Penske.

— Magnussen has hit a reset on his job right after seven winless seasons in F1. He dropped his seat with Haas at the close of past period and made the switch to sports cars. Magnussen and van der Zande are the whole-time motorists for Ganassi, who has eight Rolex victories — 6 in general wins and two course wins.

“I consider it is fantastic to be with an business that is all about winning,” Magnussen mentioned. “The company model of Chip Ganassi Racing is winning — that is what drives this team and retains it likely and its what retains this team in existence.”


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