A handful of Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge teams have made additional updates regarding their 2016 programs, ahead of this weekend’s season-opening BMW Performance 200 at Daytona International Speedway.
Rum Bum Racing, the defending race winners, plan to run a full season in the GS class and start the season with its tried-and-true Porsche 997.
Matt and Hugh Plumb return to the driving lineup, with Matt Plumb continuing his dual role as team manager.
“We are very excited to be back on the banks of Daytona, it is always a fan favorite and one we love to perform at,” he said.
“We are also glad to be back with IMSA and to be working together with the organization to build this into the best championship season yet. IMSA has been there to host our finest moments and that has not been forgotten.”
Automatic Racing has also added an entry for Rob Ecklin and Al Carter in the team’s No. 99 Aston Martin Vantage GT4. The team ran most of the 2015 season and came close to a shock win at VIR, but fell just short on fuel.
Meanwhile in the ST class, Rebel Rock Racing has confirmed a two-car Porsche Cayman entry.
Robin Liddell and Elliott Skeer will share the team’s No. 7 Cayman for the full season. Liddell will have a chance to add an ST title to the GS one he claimed last year with Stevenson Motorsports, while Porsche GT3 Challenge USA champion Skeer steps back into the series where he scored a pole on debut at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in 2014.
“I’m delighted to be joining Rebel Rock for a crack at the ST class championship in 2016,” Liddell said. “Having won the 2015 GS class last year I was pretty keen to return to the Continental Tire Series one way or another, and Rebel Rock has given me that opportunity.
“I got to know Jim Jonsin last season and he was instrumental in helping put the deal together. Having met the new ownership and seeing the performance of the car at the Roar test, I feel really positive about our chances.”
Skeer added, “The Porsche has shown to be the car to have in ST, and having that feels like were starting off on the right foot. Robin is a world class driver, and having someone like him alongside pushes me harder to give it my all.”
Team principal Jonsin and longtime friend Michael Mathe, the Senior Vice President, International at Konica Minolta Business Solutions USA, and President Konica Minolta Business Solutions de Mexico, will share the team’s No. 8 Cayman at least at Daytona.
Tom FitzGerald and Frank DePew were confirmed as new co-team principals over the winter. The team has a GS class Porsche 997 entered as well for Daytona, but with drivers TBA.
Ethan Low, meanwhile, will have a confirmed ride for the season with the LAP Motorsports-run MINI JCW team. He’ll share the team’s No. 37 MINI JCW at Daytona with Mark Pombo, to round out the three-car MINI lineup for the season opener.
Low tested for DeMan Motorsport at the Roar Before the Rolex 24 test; that DeMan ST Porsche Cayman chassis has since been shipped to Goldcrest Motorsports, which will use that chassis for Andy Lee and Kris Wright.
“I am excited to join the excitement and momentum that is building with this team,” Low said. “I want to thank Luis Perocarpi for giving me this opportunity to race for him.
“I remember battling MINI on track for the first time last year at Mazda Raceway and was amazed at their power and competitiveness.”
James Vance and Ramin Abdolvahabi (No. 52 car) and Mat Pombo and Derek Jones (No. 73 car) will be in the other two MINIs.
A handful of cars still have TBAs listed in the driving lineup and there’s a couple other cars due to be added to the initial entry list, once updated at Daytona.