61 Cars to Start 52nd TUSC Rolex 24 at Daytona

January 20, 2014 4:12 pm Last Updated: January 20, 2014 4:11 pm

A grid of 61 cars—27 prototypes and 34 GTs—are scheduled to take the green flag for the 52nd Tudor United SportsCar Championship Rolex 24 at Daytona on Jan. 25

The 2014 Rolex 24 will be the first event for the Tudor Championship, and the first chance for fans to see what sports car racing in North America will look like in the future.

The prototype grid includes the best of the Rolex Daytona Prototypes, P2 cars from ALMS, and an entry from Europe’s Oak Racing. GT Le Mans features factory- or factory-supported entries from Aston Martin, Corvette Racing, BMW, Porsche, Dodge’s SRT Viper team, and Risi Competizione’s Ferrari.

As usual, the grid is full of national and international stars from NASCAR, IndyCar, and the World Endurance Championship, as well as the best from TUSC’s component series, the Roles and American Le Mans Series.

2013 Indy 500 winner Tony Kanaan will share the #02 Ganassi Riley-Ford with fellow three-time Indy champ Scott Dixon and NASCAR’s Nationwide 2013 Rookie of the Year Kyle Larson. NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Jamie McMurray will co-drive the #01 Ganassi with Indy Lights star Sage Karam and multiple Rolex champs Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas. (Chris Jasurek/Epoch Times)

2013 Indy 500 winner Tony Kanaan will share the #02 Ganassi Riley-Ford with fellow three-time Indy champ Scott Dixon and NASCAR’s Nationwide 2013 Rookie of the Year Kyle Larson. NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Jamie McMurray will co-drive the #01 Ganassi with Indy Lights star Sage Karam, and the #60 Michael Shank Racing Riley-Ford will feature IndyCar’s Justin Wilson and AJ Allmendinger.

IndyCar’s Justin Wilson and AJ Allmendinger will share the #60 Michael Shank Racing Riley-Ford with Rolex regulars John Pew Oswaldo Negri, Jr. (Chris Jasurek/Epoch Times)

Mazda has hired a pair of IndyCar drivers, Tristan Vautier in the #07 Mazda Diesel, and James Hinchcliffe in the #70. American F1 test pilot Alexander Rossi and 2013 Indy Lights runner-up and F3 driver Gabby Chavez will drive some stints in the #0 DeltaWing DWC13.

Former IndyCar drivers Bruno Junquiera and Raphael Matos will drive PC prototypes, Junquiera the #09 RSR Racing Oreca and Matos the #38 Performance Tech entry. GP2 driver Sam Bird will share seat time in the #8 Starworks Oreca PC, and GP3 and Indy Lights driver Conor Daly and IndyCar’s Alex Tagliani will drive in the #08 RSR car.

2012 InyCar champ Ryan Hunter-Reay will be back in the #91 SRT Viper, and another IndyCar star, Graham Rahal, will drive for his father, Bobby Rahal, in the #56 BMW Team RLL Z4 GTE.

IndyCar star Graham Rahal, will co-drive the #56 BMW Team RLL Z4 GTE. (Chris Jasurek/Epoch Times)

Yet another IndyCar driver, Townsend Bell, will share seat time in the #555 Level Five GTD Ferrari, and still another, Ryan Briscoe, gets his shot at driving the #3 Corvette racing C7.R. Multiple SCCA champion (and two-time Rolex class winner) Randy Pobst will be back at Daytona in the #19 Muehlner Motorsports GTD Porsche.

Porsche factory aces Nick Tandy, Richard Lietz, and Patrick Pilet will share the #911 Porsche North America GTLM car. (Chris Jasurek/Epoch Times)

The roster of international stars is too long list entirely: Alex Brundle, Fabian Giroix, Olivier Pla, Brendon Hartley, Mike Rockenfeller, Pierre Kaffer, Stefan Mücke, Daren Turner, Frank Stippler, Marc Basseng … plus factory Porsche pilots like Nick Tandy, Patrick Pilet, and the masters, Mark Lieb and Richard Lietz—even Aussie V8 star Shane van Gisbergen is heading north to join the show.

Aston has brought in its WEC stars Stefan Mücke and Darren Turner, former Peugeot Sport P1 driver Pedro Lamy, and Kiwi formula car star Richie Stanaway to join Paul Dalla Lana in the #97 GTLM Vantage. (Chris Jasurek/Epoch Times)

Anyone worrying whether TUSC would be able to form one healthy series out of two struggling series need not worry. The field for the first TUDSC race proves that drivers and teams from all over the world are taking TUSC very, very seriously.

Tickets for the TUSC Rolex 24 at Daytona are available through the Daytona International Speedway website. More information about the race can be found at IMSA.com.

The start of the race will be televised on Fox Sports starting at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, jan. 25. At 4 p.m. the broadcast moves the Fox Sports 2 for five hours, and then to IMSA.com through the night. Fox Sports 1 will air the final seven hours.