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2014 Silly Season Update: GT Daytona
- Updated: November 4, 2013
Out of the four classes for next year’s TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, the GT Daytona category will feature the largest influx of new machinery.
From Porsche’s 911 GT America to the SRT Viper GT3-R and likely BMW Z4 GT3, a capacity field of 19 cars are expected, in what could result in some full-season entries even being turned away.
Sportscar365 wraps up its latest “silly season” update with a look at the confirmed, likely and potential full-season entries for the GT Daytona category.
Scuderia Corsa – The 2013 Rolex Series GT champions will return with at least one Ferrari 458 Italia for lead driver Alessandro Balzan, while being close to finalizing a second full-season Prancing Horse. The GT3-based Ferrari is one of the few GRAND-AM cars set to carry over into the new-look category for next year. (1-2 Ferrari 458 Italias)
Magnus Racing – Runner-ups in the Rolex Series last year, the John Potter-owned squad will be one of nearly ten Porsche 911 GT Americas expected for the season. The team recently took delivery of their car, the first new Porsche GTD car, with Potter and Andy Lally confirmed as co-drivers for the season. (1 Porsche 911 GT America)
Flying Lizard Motorsports -The 2013 ALMS GTC championship-winning squad has committed to returning with a two-car operation but has yet to announce its weapons of choice. The Lizards were understood to have been in negotiations with both Porsche and Audi, with a decision believed to have been made last month. What’s known is that team principal Seth Neiman will return to the wheel. An announcement is expected shortly. (2 TBA cars)
Alex Job Racing – The longtime Porsche squad is set to continue with the German manufacturer in 2014, with the Florida-based squad running up to two GT Americas. Cooper MacNeil is already lock in the WeatherTech-sponsored entry, set to be rejoined by a familiar face to the team. It’s unclear the status of the AJR’s possible second entry. (1-2 Porsche 911 GT Americas)
Dempsey Racing – Recently renewing its relationship with Porsche for another two seasons, Dempsey Racing has laid out plans for a two-car full-season program. Patrick Dempsey will drive one of the 911 GT Americas with a soon-to-be-announced co-driver, while the team is currently working through options for drivers and sponsors for the second entry, with a final decision on the lineup not to be made for a few weeks. (2 Porsche 911 GT Americas)
Riley Technologies - In addition to its factory SRT Viper GTS-Rs, the Bill Riley-run organization will also field a customer GT3-R for Ben Keating. The GT3-based machine will be co-driven by none other than two-time ALMS GTC champion Jeroen Bleekemolen, who moves over from a successful season at Alex Job Racing. (1 SRT Viper GT3-R)
NGT Motorsport – Considered one of the standout performers in the 2013 ALMS GTC season, the Ramez Wahab-owned squad will return with a Porsche 911 GT America for Henrique Cisneros and a to-be-announced pro driver that’s no stranger to the top step of the podium. After fielding a second entry on a part-time basis this year, NGT will focus its TUDOR Championship efforts exclusively on the MOMO-sponsored entry. (1 Porsche 911 GT America)
TRG-AMR North America – After debuting its Rolex Series-spec Aston Martin Vantage late this year, the Kevin Buckler-owned squad is set to field up to two of the V12-powered beasts in 2014. With one car already confirmed with to-be-announced drivers, the longtime Porsche entrant is working to fill the seats of a planned second full-season entry. (1-2 Aston Martin Vantage GT3s)
Park Place Motorsports – Park Place is poised to return with at least one Porsche 911 GT America for Patrick Lindsey, who shined alongside Patrick Long in 2013. However, with the Porsche factory driver likely off to the new works GT Le Mans program, it leaves Lindsey searching for a new co-driver. A second full-season entry, meanwhile, is in the process of being finalized. (1-2 Porsche 911 GT Americas)
GMG Racing – After fielding multiple Audi R8 LMS cars in the Pirelli World Challenge, the James Sofronas-owned squad will be lodging one full-season GTD entry for 2014, which will see GMG kick off the season with Alex Welch’s 2013 Rolex 24 class-winning Audi. The team is still in discussions about its exact plans past Daytona. (1 Audi R8)
AIM Autosport – The Canadian squad is currently finalizing plans for a return to a single-car operation for next year. After fielding two Ferrari 458 Italias in 2013, AIM is set to focus its TUDOR Championship efforts on one Prancing Horse for a to-be-announced pair of drivers. An announcement is expected to come within the next two weeks. (1 Ferrari 458 Italia)
Turner Motorsport – After exploring a number of different GT3 options, the longtime BMW squad is poised to continue with the Bavarian manufacturer in 2014, but with a new car. Multiple sources have confirmed the team recently tested an ex-Marc VDS Racing BMW Z4 GT3 at Road Atlanta, with an eye towards homologating the V8-powered car for GTD competition. (1-2 BMW Z4 GT3s?)
Fall-Line Motorsports – Debuting an Audi R8 GRAND-AM mid-season, Fall-Line Motorsports is targeting a two-car entry with the mid-engined sports car. An initial announcement is expected within the next ten days for the first Audi, while the Chicago area-based team is working to finalize the budget for a second full-season car. Drivers have yet to be announced. (1-2 Audi R8s)
Paul Miller Racing – Set for a move from the ALMS GT ranks, Paul Miller Racing is finalizing a 2014 program, which has been rumored to be with an Audi R8. No official word has been given, although it’s nearly certain that Bryce Miller will return to the squad in 2014, whatever car it may be with. (1 Audi R8?)
JDX Racing – The Jeremy Dale and Harrison Brix-owned operation intend to be on the grid next year with a Porsche 911 GT America, although the program is not yet 100 percent definite. Increased costs, a concern held by many GTD teams, has seen JDX continue to finalize funding, with the hope of confirming its plans in the next three to four weeks. (1 Porsche 911 GT America)
Muehlner Motorsport – After its first full season in U.S. competition, the Belgian squad was one of the first Porsche teams to lay out plans for a two-car, full-season effort in 2014. Look for at least one 911 GT America entry to be on the grid next year. (1-2 Porsche 911 GT Americas)
Krohn Racing – Rumored to be making a move back Stateside, the soon-to-be Houston-based operation is believed to be evaluating some sort of GT program, either with its existing GTE spec Ferrari 458 Italia run in the FIA World Endurance Championship (for GTLM) or with a new GTD entry. No official word has been given on any potential program.
Black Swan Racing – The Tim Pappas-owned squad is unlikely to enter the TUDOR Championship with its Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 due to expected adjustments needed for FIA GT3-based machinery. Instead, Black Swan will remain 100 percent committed to the Pirelli World Challenge, which could include a possible expansion.
Stevenson Motorsports – Front-runners in the Rolex Series GT class, the North Carolina-based organization will focus its 2014 efforts in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge with an expanded two-car factory supported Chevrolet Camaro GT.R program in GS.
Confirmed Entries: 12 cars
Likely: +8-10 cars
Possible: ~2-5 additional cars