Rolex 24 GT Team-By-Team
2018 TEAM-BY-TEAM: GTLM
No. 3 Corvette Racing
Chevrolet Corvette C7.R
Jan Magnussen/Antonio Garcia/Mike Rockenfeller
Magnussen and Garcia return to defend their 2017 GTLM title as part of the two-car program celebrating its 20th season in 2018. They will go in search of their second Rolex 24 At Daytona victory as teammates – they won the 2015 race with Ryan Briscoe as their teammate – and will do so alongside Mike Rockenfeller, their endurance racing co-driver since 2016.
No. 4 Corvette Racing
Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner/Marcel Fassler
Gavin and Milner won the 2016 WeatherTech Championship GTLM title and finished eighth in the GTLM standings last year with a victory in the BUBBA burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach. In addition to the 2016 GTLM title, Gavin, Milner and endurance racing specialist Marcel Fassler also won that year’s Rolex 24 At Daytona – in a thrilling 1-2 finish ahead of their teammates in the No. 3 Corvette – and the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
No. 24 BMW Team RLL
BMW M8 GTLM
Jesse Krohn/John Edwards/Nicky Catsburg/Augusto Farfus/Colton Herta
The M8 GTLM is a brand-new model for the 2018 season, which BMW will field not only in the WeatherTech Championship, but also the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). For the full season, Krohn – who had a strong 2017 campaign in the WeatherTech Championship GT Daytona (GTD) class in the Turner Motorsport BMW – steps up to GTLM alongside team incumbent Edwards. Catsburg and Farfus are lightning-quick international racers, while Herta, son of past IndyCar and sports car competitor, Bryan Herta, is a rising star.
No. 25 BMW Team RLL
BMW M8 GTLM
Alexander Sims/Connor De Phillippi/Bill Auberlen/Philipp Eng/Colton Herta
British racer Sims competed in his first full WeatherTech Championship season and won three races en route to a second-place finish in the GTLM championship alongside Bill Auberlen, his then-full-time co-driver. In 2018, Auberlen – who is currently second on the all-time IMSA win list with 58 career victories, trailing leader Scott Pruett by just two wins – shifts to an endurance-only role with BMW Team RLL while also becoming a BMW North America brand ambassador. De Phillippi, a 24-year-old American who has spent the past five years racing in Europe and competed in three IMSA enduros in 2017, returns stateside as Sims’ full-season co-driver. Austrian Eng is a BMW factory driver who competes in DTM and other major international GT events for the manufacturer. Herta appears on the entry list as part of the driver lineup for this car as well.
No. 62 Risi Competizione
Ferrari 488 GTE
Alessandro Pier Guidi/ Toni Vilander/James Calado
The Risi team had an abbreviated campaign in the 2017 WeatherTech Championship GTLM class, competing in seven of 11 races last season and earning five podium finishes. This year, the team will open the year at the Rolex 24 with Finnish racer Vilander, who has been part of the team’s driver lineup for the past several years and is a two-time winner at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, alongside a pair of 2017 FIA WEC GT world champions in Pier Guidi and Calado. Pier Guidi handled all driving duties for the team at last weekend’s Roar Before the Rolex 24. In 2018, the team also will add an entry in the GTD class.
No. 66 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing
Joey Hand/Dirk Mueller/Sebastien Bourdais
The No. 66 trio returns looking to defend its 2017 Rolex 24 GTLM class victory and got off to a quick start at the Roar, in which Hand posted the quickest time in Sunday’s qualifying session. Hand and his self-proclaimed “brother from another mother” Mueller return for the full 2018 season looking to improve one position from their runner-up performance in last year’s GTLM championship battle, which also included a victory at Road America. They’ll be joined for the enduros by IndyCar star and Le Mans native, Bourdais.
No. 67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing
Ryan Briscoe/Richard Westbrook/Scott Dixon
Briscoe and Westbrook hold the distinction of being the drivers who delivered the first-ever victory for the Ford GT when they won at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in 2016, and then went on to win that season’s next two races also. Unfortunately for them, they haven’t won since that season’s race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, although they did have five podiums in 2017 en route to fourth in the final season standings. They’ll be joined again this season by the most successful active IndyCar racer, Dixon, for endurance races.
No. 911 Porsche GT Team
Porsche 911 RSR
Patrick Pilet/Nick Tandy/Frederic Makowiecki
Pilet, the 2015 GTLM driver champion, returns as a full-time WeatherTech Championship driver for the fourth consecutive season in the mid-engined RSR race car that debuted last season. Pilet and then-co-driver Dirk Werner gave the new car its first victory anywhere, taking the win at Lime Rock Park. This year, Pilet will be joined for the full year by Tandy – with whom he drove for all but two races in his championship-winning season. Tandy, who earned an overall victory in the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans, is back full-time in IMSA for the first time since the 2016 season. Last year, he raced in Porsche’s 919 Hybrid in the FIA WEC. Makowiecki, who was a full-time WeatherTech Championship competitor in 2016 and won at VIR, fills out the endurance racing driver lineup.
No. 912 Porsche GT Team
Porsche 911 RSR
Laurens Vanthoor/Earl Bamber/Gianmaria Bruni
Vanthoor is back for his second straight full GTLM season in 2018. Last year, his co-drivers split the season as Kevin Estre co-drove the No. 912 in the first three rounds before Bruni – who moved over to Porsche in 2017 after being a long-time Ferrari factory driver – joined the team starting with the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen. Bruni and Vanthoor earned the best results for the No. 912 team with back-to-back second-place runs at Lime Rock and Road America. This year, Bruni will be the team’s endurance racer, though, as Bamber is back to full-time WeatherTech Championship status for the first time since 2016. The New Zealander won the 24 Hours of Le Mans overall for the second time in 2017 in the Porsche 919 Hybrid and also won Porsche’s final FIA WEC LMP1 season title. Bamber’s first Le Mans win came in 2015 alongside Tandy and Formula 1 racer Nico Hulkenberg.
2018 TEAM-BY-TEAM: GTD
Heading into next week’s 56th running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona, which features FOX network television coverage beginning at 2 p.m. ET on Saturday, Jan. 27, a highly competitive IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Daytona (GTD) field has been assembled. Here’s a quick, team-by-team look at what’s on tap in the Pro-Am class, which will have the largest field of the three competing classes:
Lamborghini Huracan GT3
Rolf Ineichen/Mirko Bortolotti/Frank Perera/Rik Breukers
The Rolex 24 always attracts high-quality race teams from Europe and the GRT Grasser team clearly fits that bill. Bortolotti, the 2017 Blancpain GT Series champion, posted the quickest GTD time in the Roar Before The Rolex 24 At Daytona qualifying session two weeks ago, while Perera, who previously raced IndyCar, Indy Lights and Atlantic in the U.S also found his way atop the practice charts. Ineichen will be making his fifth Rolex 24 appearance this year, while Dutchman Breukers, who is part of Lamborghini’s Young Drivers Program, is competing in his first Rolex 24.
No. 14 3GT Racing
Lexus RC F GT3
Dominik Baumann/Kyle Marcelli/Philipp Frommenwiler/Bruno Junqueira
3GT Racing kicks off its second WeatherTech Championship season with its pair of Lexus RC F GT3 race cars sporting a revised driver lineup. Baumann, a 2016 Blancpain GT series champion will share the No. 14 machine for the full 2018 season with Canadian Marcelli, a frequent IMSA racer who won his class in the 2013 Motul Petit Le Mans. Swiss driver Frommenwiler raced the Lexus RC F GT3 in Europe’s International GT Open series last year, while Junqueira, an eight-time IndyCar race winner, has a lengthy history with 3GT and sports cars as well.
No. 15 3GT Racing
Lexus RC F GT3
Jack Hawksworth/David Heinemeier Hansson/Scott Pruett/Dominik Farnbacher
If there’s a sentimental favorite in the GTD class, the No. 15 Lexus may be it, as sports car legend Pruett – a five-time overall Rolex 24 winner, 10-time Rolex 24 class winner and 60-time IMSA race winner – will be calling it a career after this year’s race. Hawksworth, an IndyCar veteran who drove for the team last year, is back for another full season in the WeatherTech Championship alongside Heinemeier Hansson, who won the GTE Am class in the 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans. Farnbacher is a two-time class winner in the Rolex 24.
No. 19 GRT Grasser Racing Team
Lamborghini Huracan GT3
Max van Splunteren/Ezequiel Perez Companc/Christian Engelhart/Christopher Lenz/Louis Machiels
Three of the five drivers on the No. 19 team – van Splunteren, Lenz and Machiels – are making their first appearance in the Rolex 24 this year. Companc is returning for his second race, while Lamborghini factory driver Engelhart will be making his fifth Rolex 24 start. Among drivers, van Splunteren posted the fifth-quickest time in GTD during the Roar Before the Rolex 24 At Daytona.
No. 29 Montaplast by Land Motorsport
Audi R8 LMS
Sheldon van der Linde/Kelvin van der Linde/Jeffrey Schmidt/Christopher Mies
The No. 29 team heads into the Rolex 24 looking to extend a WeatherTech Championship winning streak to two consecutive races, as it closed out the 2017 season by winning the GTD class at Motul Petit Le Mans. The No. 29 Audi was third quickest in the GTD class at the Roar courtesy of an opening-practice flyer by South African Kelvin van der Linde, the 21-year-old elder brother of 18-year-old Sheldon van der Linde. Audi factory driver Mies and the younger van der Linde won at Motul Petit Le Mans last year alongside Connor De Phillippi, who now has joined BMW Team RLL in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class. Schmidt is making his second Rolex 24 start.
No. 33 Mercedes-AMG Team Riley Motorsports
Ben Keating/Jeroen Bleekemolen/Adam Christodoulou/Luca Stolz
Keating goes in search of his second Rolex 24 victory – he also won the GTD class in 2015 – with longtime co-driver Bleekemolen, his full-season teammate, who has yet to win a Rolex 24, but does own victories in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Christodoulou, a product of the Mazda motorsports driver development ladder, is now a Mercedes-AMG factory driver who won the prestigious Nurburgring 24 Hours in 2016. German driver Stolz, who won the 2016 Blancpain GT Series Silver Cup title, is back for his second Rolex 24.
No. 44 Magnus Racing
Audi R8 LMS
John Potter/Andy Lally/Andrew Davis/Markus Winkelhock
After a year away, the popular Magnus Racing team returns to the WeatherTech Championship in 2018 with a familiar full-time driver pairing in team owner Potter and Lally, a five-time Rolex 24 class winner. It will be the first Rolex 24 for the Magnus team since winning the GTD class in 2016 with a lineup that included both Potter and Lally. Davis will join the team for all 2018 Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup rounds, and the Daytona lineup will be further enhanced by Audi factory racer Winkelhock.
No. 48 Paul Miller Racing
Lamborghini Huracan GT3
Bryan Sellers/Madison Snow/Andrea Caldarelli/Bryce Miller
Sellers and Snow return to full-time WeatherTech Championship duty for the third consecutive season in the No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini looking to revert to their 2016 form when they finished inside the top three in the GTD championship. Italian racer Caldarelli is a Lamborghini factory driver, while Bryce Miller, son of the team owner, returns for his first race since last year’s Rolex 24.
No. 51 Spirit of Race
Ferrari 488 GT3
Paul Dalla Lana/Pedro Lamy/Mathias Lauda/Daniel Serra
Canadian racer Dalla Lana is the 2011 IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Grand Sport (GS) champion and a 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) GTE Am champion. He will be making his ninth Rolex 24 start this year. He will be joined by ex-F1 racer Lamy and second-generation racer Lauda, with whom he co-drove to the 2017 WEC title, as well as Serra, the 2017 GTE Pro class winner in the Rolex 24 At Daytona.
No. 58 Wright Motorsports
Porsche 911 GT3 R
Patrick Long/Christina Nielsen/Robert Renauer/Mathieu Jaminet
Two-time defending GTD champion Nielsen moves to the Wright Motorsports Porsche after co-driving the Scuderia Corsa Ferrari to the last two championships with Alessandro Balzan. She goes in search of her first Rolex 24 win alongside her new full-season co-driver, American Porsche factory driver Long, who won last year’s Pirelli World Challenge title and GT class winner of the 2009 Rolex 24. German racer Renauer is making his fourth Rolex 24 appearance and first since 2016, while Jaminet, a Porsche Young Professional Driver, is making his first Daytona appearance. He made a pair of WeatherTech Championship starts last year at Circuit of The America and Detroit Belle Isle.
No. 59 Manthey Racing
Porsche 911 GT3 R
Steve Smith/Randy Walls/Harald Proczyk/Sven Muller/Matteo Cairoli
Another strong European team at the Rolex 24 is longtime Porsche runners Manthey Racing. In the hands of Cairoli, another Porsche Young Professional, the car turned the second-quickest lap in GTD during the Roar. Cairoli, Smith and Proczyk each are making their second appearances at the Rolex 24, while Muller will be in the race for the third time, and Walls is racing in his first Rolex 24.
No. 63 Scuderia Corsa
Ferrari 488 GT3
Cooper MacNeil/Alessandro Balzan/Gunnar Jeannette/Jeff Segal
Two-time defending GTD champion Balzan will co-drive the WeatherTech-sponsored No. 63 Ferrari with MacNeil for the full 2018 WeatherTech Championship season. Of the driving quartet, only Segal owns a Rolex 24 victory, which came in the GTD class in 2014. This year will be Jeannette’s 11th Rolex 24 appearance, the eighth for MacNeil and the fifth for Balzan.
No. 64 Scuderia Corsa
Ferrari 488 GT3
Bill Sweedler/Townsend Bell/Frank Montecalvo/Sam Bird
Sweedler and Bell won the 2014 Rolex 24 At Daytona in a Ferrari and won the GTE Am class in the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans alongside Segal in a Scuderia Corsa-prepared Ferrari. Montecalvo will be reunited with Bell and Sweedler, with whom he contested the four Patrón Endurance Cup races last season as part of Alex Job Racing’s single-car effort in 2017. Bird, a Ferrari factory driver who also competes in Formula E, won the 2015 FIA WEC LMP2 championship and is participating in his third Rolex 24.
No. 69 HART
Acura NSX GT3
Chad Gilsinger/Ryan Eversley/Sean Rayhall/John Falb
The volunteer team made up of Ohio-based Honda engineers will field a Rolex 24 entry for the first time in 2018 as part of a planned Patrón Endurance Cup program. Eversley will make his second Rolex 24 start and first since 2016. It will be Rayhall’s fourth consecutive Rolex 24 appearance and Falb’s third straight Rolex 24. Eversley, who has competed full-time in Pirelli World Challenge for the last several seasons, is a former Continental Tire Challenge champion, while Gilsinger is a multiple-time Continental Tire Challenge race winner. Rayhall, the 2013 IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda champion, co-drove to the 2017 European Le Mans Series LMP3 championship with United Autosports, which is fielding a pair of LMP2 cars – including one for two-time F1 World Champion Fernando Alonso – in the Rolex 24.
No. 71 P1 Motorsports
Kenton Koch/Robby Foley III/Loris Spinelli/JC Perez
P1 Motorsports, which competes full-time in the IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda, is branching out to a Patrón Endurance Cup program in 2018 with a new Mercedes-AMG GT3. Koch, a former IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda champion and previous Rolex 24 At Daytona class winner, is the lone driver in the lineup with Rolex 24 experience. In addition to the Patrón Endurance Cup program, Foley will drive for P1 Motorsports in the IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda this year, as will Perez. Spinelli is part of the Lamborghini Young Drivers Program,
No. 73 Park Place Motorsports
Porsche 911 GT3 R
Patrick Lindsey/Joerg Bergmeister/Tim Pappas
Lindsey, who took third in the 2017 WeatherTech Championship GTD standings, will field a Patrón Endurance Cup program for Park Place Motorsports this season. He’ll be joined again by Bergmeister, with whom he co-drove to a GTD victory last year at Lime Rock, and Pappas, who will make his fifth Rolex 24 start this year. Bergmeister is a three-time Rolex 24 class winner and has an overall victory in 2003.
No. 75 SunEnergy1 Racing
Kenny Habul/Thomas Jaeger/Maro Engel/Mikael Grenier
Habul and the SunEnergy1 Mercedes return in 2018 after their first full-season program in the WeatherTech Championship last year. He and then-co-driver Tristan Vautier earned a pair of podium results last season. Vautier has joined the Spirit of Daytona team in the Prototype class for 2018. Canadian driver Grenier, who has previous experience in Indy Lights, will be making his WeatherTech Championship and Rolex 24 debut. Engel, a Mercedes-AMG factory driver who owns victories in the Nurburgring 24 Hours and Bathurst 12 Hours, will be making his third Rolex 24 start, while former DTM racer Jager – also a Mercedes factory pilot – is back for his second straight Rolex 24.
No. 82 Risi Competizione
Ferrari 488 GT3
Miguel Molina/Ricardo Perez de Lara/Martin Fuentes/Santiago Creel/Matt Griffin
Longtime GTLM competitors Risi Competizione expands its efforts to the GTD class in 2018 with a Ferrari. Spaniard Molina is a Ferrari factory driver who won the Gulf 12 Hours late last year, while Fuentes, Creel and Perez de Lara hail from Mexico. Perez de Lara, who has driven for Ferrari of Houston’s Ferrari Challenge team for several years, is back for his second Rolex 24 and first since 2013. Fuentes was part of the same Racers Edge Motorsports lineup as Perez de Lara in 2013 and owns a Pirelli World Challenge GTA championship. He also is making his second career Rolex 24 start. Creel has participated in the last two Rolex 24s as part of the TRG team, and is driving his third different car in the race after running a Porsche last year and an Aston Martin two years ago. Irishman Griffin is a Ferrari racer whose résumé includes a Blancpain Endurance Series title in 2015 and an ELMS title in 2013. This will be his third Rolex 24, but his first since 2015.
No. 86 Michael Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian
Acura NSX GT3
Katherine Legge/Alvaro Parente/Trent Hindman/AJ Allmendinger
Legge, who alongside then-co-driver Andy Lally gave the Acura NSX GT3 its first two victories last year at Detroit and Watkins Glen, returns to the MSR team for a Patrón Endurance Cup program this year with co-driver Parente, the 2016 Pirelli World Challenge GT champion. NASCAR racer Allmendinger returns to the Shank team – with which he won the 2012 Rolex 24 At Daytona – after a year’s absence. Hindman, the 2014 Continental Tire Challenge GS champion, is back for his second straight Rolex 24 this year.
No. 93 Michael Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian
Acura NSX GT3
Justin Marks/Lawson Aschenbach/Mario Farnbacher/Come Ledogar
Marks, who first made a name for himself in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series and earned eight career victories – including a GT-class win in the 2009 Rolex 24 – before shifting his focus to NASCAR, is back for a full season in the WeatherTech Championship alongside Aschenbach, who raced the past several years in GTD for Stevenson Motorsports. Farnbacher is a two-time Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring winner, and Ledogar, a Blancpain Endurance Series champion, will make his first Rolex 24 appearance.
No. 96 Turner Motorsport
BMW M6 GT3
Jens Klingmann/Martin Tomczyk/Mark Kvamme/Don Yount
Klingmann and Tomczyk are both BMW works drivers. Klingmann owns three career WeatherTech Championship victories, all with Turner Motorsport, while former DTM champion Tomczyk competed in the full WeatherTech Championship for the first time last year as part of BMW Team RLL’s GTLM program and will focus most of his attention on BMW’s new-for-2018 FIA WEC program after the Rolex. Kvamme and Yount both competed extensively in the WeatherTech Championship Prototype Challenge (PC) class over the past few years. This will be Kvamme’s fifth consecutive Rolex 24, but it will be just his second in a GT car. For Yount, it will be his third Rolex 24. He finished third in the PC class in last year’s race.
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