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50 Entries for Roar Before Rolex 24

Fifty cars on entry list for IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship pre-season test…

Photo: Rick Dole/IMSA

A total of 50 cars are set to take part in next weekend’s Roar Before the Rolex 24, providing a near-complete look into the field that will make up January’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season opener.

IMSA released the entry list for the mandatory three-day test at Daytona International Speedway on Wednesday, featuring a star-studded field and one of the deepest talent pools in recent history.

ENTRY LIST: Roar Before 24

Twenty cars are set to do battle in the Prototype class, highlighted by the arrivals of Acura Team Penske and the new Mazda Team Joest outfit, each fielding a pair of factory DPis.

There are no major surprises on the entry list in the P class, other than the absence of the D3+ Transformers Ligier JS P217 Gibson, a program that had been announced earlier this year.

On the driver front, 2017 Prototype Challenge champion James French and Kyle Masson are listed in Performance Tech Motorsports’ Oreca 07 Gibson, with Nick Boulle as the third driver in the new AFS/PR1 Motorsports Ligier JS P217 Gibson effort.

Additionally, Austin Cindric is listed to drive JDC-Miller Motorsports’ second Oreca LMP2 car, with Gustavo Menezes added as the fourth pilot in the team’s new GAINSCO-backed entry.

The GT Le Mans class sees a nine-car entry, represented by the returning factory efforts from Corvette Racing, BMW Team RLL, Porsche GT Team and Ford Chip Ganassi Racing, all with its previously confirmed driver lineups.

Reigning FIA WEC GT World Champion Alessandro Pier Guidi is so far the only confirmed driver in the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE.

The Houston-based team’s long-awaited entry into GT Daytona now appears official, with Ricardo Perez, Martin Fuentes and Santiago Creel listed in the No. 82 Ferrari 488 GT3.

It is one of 21 entries in GTD, that includes confirmation of Magnus Racing’s return to the WeatherTech Championship, as well as a handful of European entries for the season-opener.

Grasser Racing Team has entered two Lamborghini Huracan GT3s alongside Land Motorsport (Audi R8 LMS), Manthey Racing (Porsche 911 GT3 R) and Spirit of Race (Ferrari).

Magnus’ Audi, meanwhile, will see Andrew Davis and newly crowned Intercontinental GT Challenge champion Markus Winkelhock join full-season drivers John Potter and Andy Lally.

Porsche Young Professional Mathieu Jaminet and Robert Renauer, meanwhile, complete the lineup in Wright Motorsports’ new Porsche entry, with Tim Pappas listed alongside Patrick Lindsey and Joerg Bergmeister in Park Place Motorsports’ Porsche.

This year’s Rolex 24 class-winning Alegra Motorsports outfit is not currently entered for the test, with questions surrounding the team’s participation for the race.

Also absent from the list in GTD is Wayne Taylor Racing, which had been working on a two-car Lamborghini effort. 

Turner Motorsport, which has also yet to confirm its 2018 program, however, is listed with a single BMW M6 GT3 for Jens Klingmann. 

The three-day test runs from Jan. 5-7, with a qualifying session to determine garage and pit lane allocations in the Rolex 24 field set for Sunday.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

45 Comments

45 Comments

  1. I Want A Rolex!

    December 27, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    Was really hoping for WTR to field some Lamborghini’s, but a strong grid nonetheless!

  2. Kyle

    December 27, 2017 at 12:31 pm

    Very solid grid, and I’m sure a few more will be added, but they probably shouldn’t have made the oversubscribed proclamations.

  3. Lanky Turtle

    December 27, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    What a surprise, Dawson did not enter their P3 car or the drawing of the P2 car. I wonder if any teams did not pursue an entry after the 60 car cap was announced.

    • Change it up

      December 28, 2017 at 8:19 am

      It is very surprising since the team heavily advertised and made media announcements at the Petit le mans that they were going to be there. Hell the team had high hopes about going to le mans: http://sportscar365.com/lemans/wec/d3transformers-targeting-24h-le-mans-entry/

    • Change it up

      January 2, 2018 at 11:13 am

      actually, looking over the PC LMP3 entry list D3+ racing is marked there. I guess no LMP2?

  4. almzkid

    December 27, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    I wonder how much Money the Dawson’s have fleeced Hasbro for before they pulled the funding.

    Disappointing news about Alegra, sad state when the defending champs can’t make the budget fit

    Bring on Daytona!

  5. jason

    December 27, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    GTD not coming together like we thought it would. Most of the entries too may not be full timers. IMSA needs to look at GTD operating costs for 2018 and needs to look at it NOW. I for one recommend dropping Laguna Seca, so it will save them having to go out West for the entire year. It would make GTD regional and easy heavy yes, but it sure would save on travel costs big time.

    • Jenner

      December 27, 2017 at 3:01 pm

      I’m sure IMSA will read your post and dump Laguna Seca off their 2018 schedule. Why don’t we get rid of Long Beach too then?

      Mosport is far away too, let’s dump them too.

      • ben

        December 27, 2017 at 6:03 pm

        Who wants to go to Watkins Glen all the way up in NY either? It’s so far.

        • Max

          December 27, 2017 at 8:41 pm

          Really who wants to drive anywhere anyway.?The races are a long drive themselves. We should just watch the cars in their team’s respective garages.

          • Slicks in the wet

            December 28, 2017 at 5:03 am

            Can’t we just play with Lego models on our desks and make ‘vroom-vroom’ noises?

            Porsche just got a 3 brick BOP break. They are gonna be fast!

          • jaysfan

            December 28, 2017 at 9:23 pm

            Slicks in the wet, if I make a Lada out of lego, can I enter it in your racing series? 🙂

  6. jason

    December 27, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    One good thing with 50 cars including no LMPC’s is that the number of safety car periods should reduce big time. (assuming dry weather)

    • TF110

      December 27, 2017 at 1:55 pm

      I’m sure they’ll find a way to get a few fcy’s in there.

    • Jenner

      December 27, 2017 at 3:19 pm

      Do you know a lot of the PC teams now race in the P class?

      Are you gonna be calling for those teams to step down to LMP3 now? Or to IMSA Lights?

      What if Montoya brings out a yellow, are u gonna be calling for his head on a stick.

      • Slicks in the wet

        December 29, 2017 at 5:21 am

        It will be glorious. The crap gentlemen drivers from PC will wreck even more spectacularly going P speeds…or…will be getting passed by the GT cars through the infield only to clamber back by them on the banking…ugh…

        The TEAMS shouldnt step down. But some drivers have no business at the P level.

        WHAT if Montoya brings out a yellow?!? HAHAH, more like WHEN he does. And yeah, I am sure his hot-head will deserve to be on a pike at some point this year.

  7. WBrowning

    December 27, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    20 – DPi/LMP2 entries, WOW, pretty good for year number two. It will be interesting to see how many do the entire season, and the Patron Cup.

    • NaBUru38

      December 28, 2017 at 8:02 am

      Indeed! I certainly didn’t expect it two years ago.

  8. Pete

    December 27, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    I’m surprised not to see GMG on the list. Andy Lee posted them testing a new 911 GT3 at Daytona a few weeks back and said the team was going to enter it in the Rolex.

    • jaysfan

      December 28, 2017 at 8:22 pm

      GMG Motorsports are listed on the entry list for Continental Series, James Sofronas and Andrew Davis

  9. Anonymous

    December 27, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    That’s interesting the two United Autosports entries have no drivers confirmed, but we know that Fenando Alonso, Paul Di Resta and Lando Norris are all confirmed to race.

    • Johannes275

      December 27, 2017 at 4:57 pm

      Remember dude, this isn’t the entry list for the official thing, merely the test session.

      • jaysfan

        December 27, 2017 at 5:33 pm

        I agree, before we get too excited, let’s wait and see how many teams will actually enter for Daytona and beyond

        • TailsLeMans722

          December 27, 2017 at 6:07 pm

          The Roar is actually mandatory for all Rolex 24 teams. This means that, barring any last minute changes, the fifty cars on this entry list will most likely be the same fifty that take the green flag for the start of the Rolex 24.

          • Anthony

            December 27, 2017 at 8:18 pm

            With all TBA in the #14, is the seasoned 3gt entry in doubt?

  10. David Chaste

    December 27, 2017 at 9:59 pm

    The sneaky silver brigade in GTD: Mario Farnbacher, Sean Rayhall, Gunnar Jeanette, Mathias Lauda, Madison Snow, Sheldon van der Linde. They should all buy the fia a beer for their generous driver ratings.

    Misha Goikhber and Stephen Simpson should also be rated higher, but since they’re in the top class they don’t draw any advantage from the ratings.

    • jack

      December 27, 2017 at 11:02 pm

      misha, no because he is a true gentleman driver, who is on occasion as fast as the pro’s, but stephen is an out and out pro.

    • Slicks in the wet

      December 28, 2017 at 5:02 am

      I am at least a Tin rated driver. I will drive for any team that needs to anti-ringer. ahhahahah.

      • TailsLeMans722

        December 28, 2017 at 5:26 am

        I’m a Coal rated driver. The FIA won’t give me a Wood rating because I can’t drive a stick-shift! XD

    • David Chaste is bitter

      December 28, 2017 at 7:41 am

      Madison is a Silver by the rules, just because he’s fast does not mean he makes his money from driving. I believe he in fact pays to drive. Probably should limit your whining to things that are actually outside the rules or questionable but that doesn’t seem like your habit. Half truths, out-right lies and utter stupidity seems to be more your style.

      • Travis McBee

        December 28, 2017 at 9:18 am

        And you seem to be an asshole… run along now you chirp show.

  11. David Chaste

    December 28, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    Having personal grudges with people you barely even know online.

    Cheers to you.

  12. daedalus

    December 28, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    Without United Autosports and Jackie Chan racing it still leaves 16 or so entrys for the rest of the season unless some former LMPC teams are only doing NAEC. This will probably one of the best years for prototype sportscar racing in the USA since the can am and GTP days as long as they don’t start dropping out mid season like mazda did.

    • jason

      December 28, 2017 at 12:38 pm

      GTD may be decreasing though 🙁

      • Mo

        December 28, 2017 at 1:11 pm

        Hopefully there will be at least 12 full-time GTD cars. The NAEC looks good for GTD.

  13. DB

    December 28, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    ALMS 2007-2008 was the best I seen as far as prototypes.

    • Kirk

      December 29, 2017 at 1:55 pm

      You must not have been around in prototype racings glory days of the late 80’s and early 90’s when LeMans had no GT cars on the grid and most IMSA prototype and GT races were split. It was a glorious time to be a sports car racing fan.

      • philippe symonovicz

        December 30, 2017 at 9:11 am

        Agree completely

  14. Steven

    December 28, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    Just don’t screw it up this year IMSA. You got your dream race last year of letting Cadillac get away with the sandbagging and let Jeff Gordon get his undeserved Rolex 24 watch.

  15. Matt

    December 28, 2017 at 11:37 pm

    I reckon they should revive the IMSA GT Championship and let the GT3s race in that. Make it sprint type races with a couple of enduros. Plus dump the manufacturer fee for his comp.
    I know there is a similar comp in PWC, but just a thought. 🙂

    • jason

      December 29, 2017 at 8:43 am

      Well I think IMSA should maybe give a special “dump the manufacturer” fee for certain events such as the two all GT races at VIR and Lime Rock. A field of 19-21 cars is ok, but 24-26 would be better. Maybe for those 2 races only it would be ok if a team with an Aston, Bentley, or McLaren can enter into the contest.

  16. Andy Flinn

    December 29, 2017 at 9:20 am

    Jason, so IMSA should “dump the manufacturer fee” so McLaren and Bentley can have a shot at poaching a GTD victory at VIR or Lime Rock?

    How does that make sense for the other eight manufacturers (Porsche, BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Acura and Lexus) who actually support IMSA and GTD by paying the fee?

    Why would IMSA screw all of their partners like that?

    If McLaren and Bentley actually were SERIOUS about building cars for GTD and actually managed to attract customers to race IN THE GTD CLASS, they would not have trouble paying the GTD fee.

    • Slicks in the wet

      December 29, 2017 at 10:21 pm

      Maybe IMSA could refund the fee to the factory/team if there is at least one car of the make in question at every race and the make in question completes at least 10% of the total laps in the series (to prevent start and parks?)?

      Make it a million dollar “i promise to race in your series” fee?

      Although, if the manufacturer fees are what pays for me to watch commercial free YouTube uploads with the radio commentary—maybe I dont want the money to be refunded…lol

  17. philippe symonovicz

    December 30, 2017 at 9:08 am

    Best quality prototype field since the so-called 2014 merger. We are still short of Le Mans numbers with 25 LMP2s alone last year, but I think we can attract more European teams. Ferrari should enter a second GTLM just so everything is equal in that category. Looking forward to the race; it should be close.

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