Next weekend’s kickoff to the 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season will feature a full paddock of new and existing faces, with the entry list for the Roar Before the Rolex 24 having been released.
A total of 54 cars are entered for the three-day test at Daytona International Speedway on Jan. 8-10, including a few surprises in the GT Daytona ranks.
ENTRY LIST: Roar Before Rolex 24
The Prototype class, as expected, will feature a 13-car grid, with driver lineups nearly finalized in all entries.
The newly renamed Panoz DeltaWing Racing team will have Katherine Legge, Sean Rayhall, Andy Meyrick and Andreas Wirth at the wheel of its DWC13 Elan, while Pipo Derani is confirmed as the fourth driver in Tequila Patron ESM’s single-car Ligier JS P2 Honda entry.
Spencer Pigot and Ben Devlin complete the lineups in the pair of Mazda Motorsports prototypes, while Highway to Help resurfaces with its Dinan-powered Riley DP for Byron Defoor, Dorsey Schroeder, David Hinton, Thomas Gruber and Jim Pace.
Eight Prototype Challenge cars are entered, with half of the lineups still to-be-announced.
However, there are some strong hints towards potential Rolex 24 and full-season lineups, with FIA GT World Cup Champion Maro Engel and Mark Kvamme entered in a Starworks Motorsport Oreca FLM09 alongside Sean Johnston.
Other additions include 2015 IMSA Prototype Lites champion Kenton Koch in the JDC-Miller Motorsports entry with Chris Miller, Mikhail Goikhberg and Stephen Simpson and Johnny Mowlem rejoining BAR1 Motorsports alongside Marc Drumwright and team owner Brian Alder.
GT Le Mans will see an 11-car entry for the Rolex 24, but only ten cars expected for the Roar, with Risi Competizione not taking delivery of its new Ferrari 488 GTE until later next month. The team, however, still has its entry listed for the Roar.
Ford Chip Ganassi Racing has listed Sebastien Bourdais and Stefan Muecke as third drivers in its pair of Ford GTs, although the manufacturer has yet to formally announce its additional drivers for the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup.
A class-high 22 cars are listed in GT Daytona, with the new-look category delivering mostly brand-new GT3-spec machinery for the first time, as well as some surprise European additions for the Roar, and presumably the Rolex 24.
Konrad Motorsport has entered two Lamborghini Huracan GT3s for Daytona, instead of the previously announced single-car entry, with Rolf Ineichen, Lance Wilsey, Fabio Babino, Marc Basseng and Franz Konrad listed in the No. 28 car and Emanuele Busnelli and Jim Michaelian in the second entry.
VLN specialists Frikadelli Racing, meanwhile, is set for its WeatherTech Championship debut with a new Porsche 911 GT3 R for Klaus Abbelen and Sabine Schmitz, with additional drivers still to be named.
The remainder of the class features previously announced teams and driver lineups, including only one TRG-AMR Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3, in addition to the factory AMR entry for Paul Dalla Lana.